Friday's contest at UTA will mark Sooners' earliest true road game in 11 years.
||Freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak
Oklahoma plays its first road game of the year when it takes on UT Arlington Friday at 7 p.m. CT at the new College Park Center on the UTA campus. The Sooners are coming off an 85-51 season-opening home win over ULM on Sunday. The Mavericks, who went 24-9 last season, won their season opener last Friday at Cal State Bakersfield, 62-60.
ON THE AIR
Friday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FS Oklahoma Plus and FOX College Sports Atlantic) with Bob Carpenter and Billy Tubbs calling the action. A webcast replay will be offered for free on SoonerSports.tv.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Friday’s game will mark the earliest true road game for Oklahoma since the 2001-02 season when it played at Michigan State in the second game of the year (Nov. 14 in Preseason NIT second round). The Sooners lost to the Spartans but advanced to the Final Four that season, finishing 31-5 overall.
• OU owns a 5-0 all-time record against UT Arlington, but all five meetings took place in Norman. The Sooners won the most recent matchup (89-60) on Dec. 16, 2006. OU will become the first Big 12 team to play on UTA’s campus.
• Oklahoma has posted a 1-9 true road record each of the last three seasons.
• Friday’s contest will mark the first of five straight OU contests played away from Norman. The Sooners play three games next week in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., before playing at Oral Roberts Nov. 28. Seven of OU’s first nine games are away from home.
• All 12 Sooners who played Sunday vs. ULM scored at least 1 point. The last time that every OU player who saw action in a game scored was 44 games ago in OU’s 82-76 overtime win at Iowa State on Jan. 29, 2011 (only eight Sooners played).
PREVIEWING UT ARLINGTON
• UT Arlington posted a school-record 24 wins last season against nine losses and won the regular season Southland Conference title by going 15-1. The Mavericks lost in the Southland tournament semifinals and advanced to the NIT where they sustained an 82-72 first-round defeat at Washington.
• Now a member of the 10-team Western Athletic Conference, the Mavericks were picked to finish fifth in the league’s preseason coaches poll. UTA plays its home games in the new 7,000-seat College Park Center on campus. The arena opened Feb. 1 and the Mavericks played four games there last season (won all four).
• UTA lost its top two scorers from last season in LaMarcus Reed (17.8 ppg) and Bo Ingram (12.8 ppg), but returns three other starters. Senior forward Kevin Butler is the team’s leading returning scorer, having averaged 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds last year. Senior center Jordan Reves averaged 9.1 points and a team-high 7.8 boards while shooting .548 from the field. Junior point guard Shaquille White-Miller contributed 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and a team-high 3.7 assists per outing. The Mavs outrebounded their opponents by 5.2 boards a contest.
• The Mavericks opened the season last Friday with a 62-60 win at Cal State Bakersfield, and had to come from behind in the final minute to do it. UTA overcame 22 turnovers by holding CSUB to .266 field goal and .179 (5-for-28) 3-point shooting. It also posted a 53-41 rebounding advantage. Texas Tech transfer Jamel Outler led the Mavs with 15 points with the help of 3 3-pointers, while Reves added 13 points and a game-high 14 boards. Greg Gainey (5-for-6 shooting) and Brandon Edwards chipped in with 10 points each, with Edwards adding 10 rebounds.
• UT Arlington is under the direction of head coach Scott Cross, who is 104-82 in his seventh year as a collegiate head coach (all at UTA). The 1998 UTA graduate was the 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year and led the Mavericks to their lone NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008.
| Sooner to Watch
Steven Pledger | Sr. | Guard
• Scored a team-high 15 points in season opener vs. ULM in only 18 minutes
• Made 5 of his 9 3-point attempts against the Warhawks on Sunday
• Big 12 Conference's leading returning scorer from last year (16.2 ppg)
• Ranks fifth in OU history with 183 treys and 33rd with 1,037 points
Friday’s game will mark the sixth between OU and UT Arlington, but just the first away from Norman. The Sooners won each of the first five contests: 89-57 in 1968-69, 71-64 in 1976-77, 101-76 in 1986-87, 81-63 in 1997-98 and 89-60 in 2006-07. OU’s average winning margin in the series is 22.2 points.
SUNDAY’S ULM RECAP
• The Sooners won for the 33rd time in their last 34 home openers when they beat ULM 85-51 on Sunday at Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma posted a .471 to .345 field goal shooting advantage and outrebounded the Warhawks 49-30.
• Down 11-10 at the 12:15 mark of the first half, OU used a 26-5 run over the next 9:30 to take a 36-16 lead. ULM never got closer than 15 points the rest of the game.
• OU, which averaged 19.0 turnovers in its two exhibition games against NCAA Division II opponents, committed just 12 turnovers against ULM (the Sooners handed out 20 assists for an impressive 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio).
• Senior guard Steven Pledger, the Big 12’s leading returning scorer, netted a team-high 15 points in only 18 minutes. He was 5-for-9 from 3-point range and moved into fifth place on OU’s career 3-pointers list (passed Cade Davis and now has 183 makes).
• Just as he did in OU’s two exhibition games, head coach Lon Kruger started Pledger, fellow senior Romero Osby, junior Amath M’Baye and freshmen Isaiah Cousins and Je’lon Hornbeak. The starters logged 52 percent of the team’s minutes and produced 56 percent of its points (48), 56 percent of its rebounds (25) and 65 percent of its assists (13) while shooting .486 from the field.
• M’Baye, the Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, made his OU debut after transferring from Wyoming. The forward totaled 12 points, a game-high 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in 22 minutes. His projected 40-minute stat line calculation was 21.8 points and 16.4 rebounds. He was 6-for-9 from the field and had 3 dunks.
• The OU bench outscored ULM’s 37-14. Senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald came off the bench for the first time since his freshman year and tallied 12 points (on 6-for-10 shooting) and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes.
• Freshman guards Cousins, Hornbeak and Buddy Hield combined for 24 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in their collegiate debuts. Hornbeak totaled 10 points and 5 assists, Hield scored 9 points on 4-of-7 shooting and Cousins added 2 points and 5 assists. Hornbeak and Cousins teamed for 10 assists and just 1 turnover in 48 minutes.
• The Sooners exhibited a balanced offensive attack, with seven players scoring between 9 and 15 points, and four reaching double figures. For the first time in 44 games, every OU player who saw the court scored (12 players).
Oklahoma will travel to Orlando, Fla., next week for the Old Spice Classic. The eight-team tournament will be spread over four days (Nov. 22-25), with each squad playing three games at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It will be OU’s first appearance in the event.
SOONER SPORTS TV
Eight of OU's 2012-13 contests will be televised by Sooner Sports TV powered by FOX Sports. Launched in September 2012, the network provides the most comprehensive coverage of the Sooners ever offered. Distributed on a variety of existing FOX Sports outlets including FS Oklahoma, FS Southwest and FOX College Sports, Sooner Sports TV programming blocks reach approximately nine million homes in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.