Freshman hits five 3-pointers in 66-53 home win.
Dec. 21, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Calvin Newell made the most of his minutes on Tuesday night.
He came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points in only 17 minutes as Oklahoma remained unbeaten at home with a 66-53 victory against Sacramento State.
Newell hadn't scored in the last four games despite starting two of them, but he went 5 for 6 from 3-point range.
"We needed his energy," Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "He's a good player and we need him to be a good player for us."
Newell, who only played five minutes during the last two games, scored 11 points in the second half as Oklahoma (6-6) lost leading scorer Andrew Fitzgerald to foul trouble. Fitzgerald scored eight points after averaging 16 during the last four games.
Cade Davis added 15 points and a team-high three assists for the Sooners.
Newell found his game after Capel told him to be himself.
"He's kind of in a transition phase of trying to figure out exactly how to be the most effective," Capel said. "He's used to scoring his whole life and he's been a little less aggressive."
Newell sat out for much of the second half, but checked in with less than a minute remaining and knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing to set his new point mark.
Despite his scoring, Newell wasn't an offensive substitution. Capel brought him off the bench to slow down Sacramento State's Sultan Toles-Bey, who had nine-straight points at the time.
After Toles-Bey hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first three minutes, Newell checked in and Toles-Bey went 1 for 9 from behind the arc the rest of the way.
"Once I did that, my defense turned into offense," Newell said.
Toles-Bey finished with a game-high 21 points while Duro Bjegovic added nine for the Hornets (3-8).
"It's good to have (Newell) come off the bench like that and really be a spark offensively and defensively," Davis said.
Oklahoma led by eight points at halftime and slowly increased its margin in the second half.
The Sooners held Sacramento State without a field goal for nearly five minutes in the middle of the second half. During the stretch, Oklahoma went on a 10-3 run. Newell scored five of Oklahoma's 10 points as the Sooners took a 17-point lead.