OU hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in first regular season game at McCasland Field House since 1975.
||Junior forward Amath M'Baye
Playing its second game in less than 48 hours, Oklahoma hosts Texas
A&M-Corpus Christi in a "Field House Series" game on Monday at 2 p.m. CT. The
contest will be played inside McCasland Field House on the OU campus and will
mark the first regular season game played in the building in 38 years. The 8-3
Sooners are coming off a 74-63 home win over 2012 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 participant
Ohio on Saturday night. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi owns a 1-9 record and has lost
its last nine. It is coming off a 67-56 home loss to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
ON THE AIR
Monday'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
calling the action. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FS Southwest
and FOX College Sports Central) with Bob Carpenter and Brent Price
Tickets are available for $10 (adults) and $5 (kids 2-12) at the OU Athletics
Ticket Office and online here.
McCasland Field House ticket booths will open at noon on Monday.
OU students will be admitted free, but must present a physical ticket (can
or at McCasland Field House's west entrance).
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
Monday's game will mark the first meeting between Oklahoma and Texas
A&M-Corpus Christi. It will also mark the first contest inside OU's McCasland
Field House since the 1974-75 regular season finale when Alvan Adams recorded
43 points and 25 rebounds to lead the Sooners to an 84-79 win over Iowa State
in his last career game.
The Sooners are coming off arguably their best offensive half of the season
against Ohio on Saturday. Oklahoma scored 45 points after halftime thanks to
sizzling 17-for-24 (.708) field goal and 3-for-4 (.750) 3-point shooting in
a 74-63 win. OU, which shot .303 from the field in the first half, finished
with a .474 game mark. It had been held under .400 in four of the previous five
Oklahoma freshman guard Buddy Hield has recorded OU season highs in
rebounds, assists and steals over the course of the last two games. He pulled
down 11 rebounds Dec. 18 against Stephen F. Austin and finished with 7 assists
and 4 steals Saturday vs. Ohio. Over the last three games, Hield is averaging
8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will mark OU's fourth Southland Conference opponent
in seven games. The Sooners won at Oral Roberts on Nov. 12 (63-62), beat Northwestern
State at home Nov. 30 (69-65) and lost at home to Stephen F. Austin on Dec.
Oklahoma has won 37 of its last 38 and 95 of its last 98 home non-conference
games. The most recent loss came two games ago, a 56-55 defeat to Stephen F.
Austin on Dec. 18. The last time OU lost a non-conference game at Lloyd Noble
Center (also to Stephen F. Austin), it rebounded to beat Arkansas, Gonzaga and
West Virginia in consecutive games in the 2007-08 season. The Sooners went on
to advance to NCAA Tournament second round that year.
McCASLAND FIELD HOUSE'S HOOPS HISTORY
Opened in 1928, the OU Field House served as the Sooners' home until
Lloyd Noble Center opened in December 1975. Under head coach Hugh McDermott,
Oklahoma won the first game in the Field House - a 45-19 drubbing of Phog Allen's
Kansas squad on Jan. 13, 1928, in front of more than 5,200 fans. OU finished
18-0 that year, and Allen suffered only one worse defeat in his 38-year KU coaching
Oklahoma's all-time record in the OU Field House stands at 319-153 (.676). The
Sooners won eight conference championships while playing in the facility (one
Missouri Valley, six Big Six and one Big Seven). Head coaches who directed OU
teams that played in the Field House were McDermott (11 seasons in the building),
Bruce Drake (17), Doyle Parrack (7), Bob Stevens (5), John
MacLeod (6) and Joe Ramsey (2). Drake's 1938-39 and 1946-47 squads
advanced to the NCAA semifinals and final, respectively.
McCasland Field House is named after Howard McCasland, who was a standout
center for the Sooners from 1914-16.
KRUGER AT McCASLAND FIELD HOUSE
OU head coach Lon Kruger played in two games inside McCasland
Field House as a Kansas State guard in the 1970s. In 1972, he led K-State to
an 80-71 win by recording a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds, and went
on to be named Big Eight Sophomore of the Year. Two years later in Norman, Kruger
contributed 12 points and six boards, but the Sooners pulled out a 65-63 win.
Kruger, who was the 1973 and '74 Big Eight Player of the Year, missed the 1973
contest inside the Field House due to injury (OU won 81-69).
Steven Pledger | Sr. | Guard
Scored a game high 18 points Saturday
against Ohio, 14 of them in the second half
Averaging 11.0 points and a team-high 26.5 minutes
His 2.0 three pointers per game is fifth highest
in the Big 12
Has scored in double digits in each of his last
four games and six times this season
As of Sunday, Oklahoma is ranked 21st in the CBSSports.com RPI (third best
in Big 12 behind No. 3 Kansas and No. 18 Oklahoma State) and projected by the
website as a No. 12 NCAA Tournament seed.
OU ranks seventh in the Big 12 in field goal (.419) and 3-point percentage
(.308), and third in free throw percentage (.717).
Oklahoma has already won as many games away from home this year (5-2 record)
as it did all of last season (4-11 record). The Sooners will play at least 10
more games away from Lloyd Noble Center this season.
OU has played seven games this year decided by seven points or fewer and has
won five of them. Last year the Sooners finished 4-5 under the circumstance.
The Sooners have exhibited a balanced offensive attack through 11 games, with
seven players averaging between 6.1 and 13.0 points per contest. Nine players
average between 17.1 and 26.5 minutes per game. A Sooner has played at least
30 minutes in a game just 11 times this year (three players did it Saturday
OU returned its top six scorers and 88 percent of its scoring from last season,
but newcomers rank third, fourth, fifth and eighth in scoring average. The team's
four newcomers have accounted for 40 percent of the team's points (299 of 743).
Despite the fact that OU has registered only 1.9 fewer turnovers per game
(142 total turnovers on the season) than its opponents (163), the Sooners own
a 187-128 advantage in points off turnovers on the year (17.0 to 11.6 per game).
The Sooners' bench has been key, supplying 287 of the team's 743 points (39
percent). OU's reserves have been outscored just three times in 11 games (vs.
Gonzaga, Northwestern State and Ohio). Two starters from last year (Cameron
Clark and Sam Grooms) have come off the bench in each of their games,
while another, Andrew Fitzgerald, has come off the bench in 10 of 11 contests.
Senior forward Romero Osby leads the team in scoring (13.0 ppg), rebounding
(6.4 rpg) and blocked shots (0.9 bpg) in just 23.9 minutes a contest. Since
being held to an average of 10.0 points on .333 (8-for-24) shooting over a three-game
span, he is averaging 16.3 points on .622 (23-for-37) shooting over the last
four contests. He has also made all 19 of his free throw attempts during the
four-game stretch. Osby, who is shooting a team-high .500 from the field, was
named to the Old Spice Classic all-tourney team last month after averaging 12.3
points and 7.0 rebounds (shot .565 from the field) against UTEP, Gonzaga and
West Virginia. The transfer, who played his first two seasons at Mississippi
State, is the Big 12's leading returning rebounder from last year (7.8 rpg).
Senior guard Steven Pledger averages 11.0 points in a team-high 26.5
minutes a game. He ranks fifth in the Big 12 with his 2.0 treys per game and
10th with his .355 3-point percentage (was shooting .417 before going 2-for-14
the last two outings). The league's leading returning scorer from last year
(16.2 ppg), Pledger is coming off a season-high 18-point effort against Ohio
in which he netted all of his points between the 2:35 mark of the first half
and 5:02 mark of the second. He continues to climb OU's career charts in scoring
and 3-pointers, ranking 28th in school history with 1,143 points and fourth
with 200 career 3-pointers. He has started his last 43 games.
Preseason Big 12 Rookie of the Year Amath M'Baye averages 9.5 points
and 6.0 rebounds per game to rank third and second on the team, respectively.
He broke out of a two-game slump (averaged 1.5 points and 2.0 boards against
Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin) by registering 16 points, 6 rebounds and a
season-high 3 steals Saturday against Ohio. The junior forward has led (or tied)
the team in rebounding in seven of 11 games this year. They Wyoming transfer
scored a season-high 19 points in a win over West Virginia in the Old Spice
Classic third-place game on Nov. 25 and was subsequently named Big 12 Rookie
of the Week.
Freshman guard Buddy Hield, who ranks fourth on the team with his 8.5
points and third with his 4.1 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per contest, came off
the bench in OU's first 10 games before getting the starting nod against Ohio
on Saturday. All he did against the Bobcats was produce OU's highest season
totals in assists (7) and steals (4). Over the last three outings, the Freeport,
Bahamas, native is averaging 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals
in a team-high 31.3 minutes per contest. More than half of Hield's rebounds
this year have been offensive (23 of 45). In his top two scoring games, all
of his output came in one half. At UT Arlington on Nov. 16, he scored 17 first-half
points. On Nov. 28 at Oral Roberts, he netted all 11 of his points in the game's
final 13:28. Hield is 6-for-12 from 3-point range over the last five games.
After scoring in single digits in each of the first eight games, junior guard/forward
Cameron Clark erupted for 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting in the Dec.
15 win over Texas A&M. His previous season highs for field goals and attempts
were three and six, respectively. Clark, who started 60 of 63 games and averaged
8.9 points in 30.4 minutes per contest over his first two seasons, is averaging
6.5 points in 17.2 minutes an outing off the bench this year. After shooting
.238 from the field (5-for-21) in the first four games this season, he is shooting
.585 in seven games since (24-for-41).
Freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak has contributed across the board in
OU's first 11 games, averaging 6.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2
steals in 23.6 minutes per game. He has started all 11 contests (played point
guard the last three games).
A starter every game the last two years, senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald
has come off the bench in 10 of 11 games this season. On the year, he averages
6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.3 minutes an outing. He needs just 30 points
to become the 39th member of OU's 1,000-point club.
Senior point guard Sam Grooms started all 31 games last year, led the
Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) and ranked second in assists (6.0 per
game). He has come off the bench in each of his 10 games this season (missed
Dec. 18 game vs. Stephen F. Austin due to injury) and has racked up a team-high
26 assists against 11 turnovers (his 2.4 ratio would rank third in the league
if he had enough assists to qualify in the category).
PREVIEWING TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI
Southland Conference member Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters Monday's game
with a 1-9 record. After a season-opening 60-49 win over Texas Lutheran, the
Islanders have lost nine straight games by an average of 14.1 points. They are
1-3 at home and 0-6 in true road contests, and are coming off a 67-56 home defeat
to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
The Islanders average 60.5 points per game and are giving up 72.1. They are
shooting .388 from the field, .273 from 3-point range and .684 from the free
throw line. Opponents are shooting .474 from the floor and .361 from long range,
and have posted a +6.9 average rebounding margin.
Junior forward Will Nelson leads the team in scoring and rebounding,
averaging 14.5 points and 7.3 boards in 28.3 minutes a contest. Despite his
solid scoring average, Nelson has been limited to a .361 field goal mark and
a .261 3-point figure (12-for-46). He is coming off a 24-point, 14-rebound,
3-assist effort against Stephen F. Austin in which he was 9-for-17 from the
Sophomore guard Johnathan Jordan averages 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds
and a team-high 4.4 assists, and has team highs of 44 free throw makes and 63
attempts (.698). He netted 17 points on 8-for-21 shooting Saturday against SFA.
He is playing a team-high 35.5 minutes per contest.
Junior forward Joy Williamson had scored in double figures in seven
straight outings before being held to 3 points on 0-for-7 shooting Saturday
against the Lumberjacks. He is averaging 9.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Former longtime Rice mentor Willis Wilson is in his second year as
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's head coach (the Islanders finished 6-24 last season).
Wilson served as Rice's head coach for 16 years (1992-93 through 2007-08 seasons)
and compiled a 219-246 record. In between, he served the 2009-10 and 2010-11
seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis.
OU-TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI SERIES HISTORY
Monday's game will mark the first meeting between Oklahoma and Texas A&M-Corpus
Christi in men's basketball.
SATURDAY'S OHIO RECAP
Oklahoma shot .708 from the field in the second half (17-for-24) to break
a 29-29 tie and outscore Ohio 45-34 after halftime in a 74-63 win at Lloyd Noble
Center on Saturday.
After shooting .303 from the field in the first half (10-for-33) and missing
their first attempt of the second, the Sooners made 10 straight field goal attempts
to take a 54-43 lead with 10:23 remaining. OU later made six consecutive shots
to go up 15 (69-54).
The game marked the first this year that three OU players scored at least
15 points. Steven Pledger scored a game-high 18 (14 after halftime) while
Amath M'Baye and Romero Osby netted 16 each.
Pledger's 18 points were a season high. The senior was 1-for-8 from the field
in the first half but went 6-for-8 in the second. He scored nine straight points
between the 13:41 and 11:22 marks of the second half on 4-for-4 shooting. Pledger
made two 3-pointers on the night to move into sole possession of fourth place
on OU's career list (200 makes).
M'Baye's point total was his second highest of the season, and he added a
team-high-tying 6 rebounds. The junior, who had totaled 3 points and 4 rebounds
over the previous two games, was 6-for-8 from the field vs. Ohio and logged
a season-high 3 steals.
Six of Osby's points came at the free throw line on 6 attempts, extending
his streak of makes to 19. Osby took two charges in the game and has a team-high
eight on the year.
Freshman guard Buddy Hield made his first career start and finished
with 5 points and career highs of 7 assists and 4 steals while committing just
1 turnover in 34 minutes. The 7 assists and 4 steals were the most by a Sooner
this season. Hield had 6 assists on the year entering the game.
OU posted a 22-10 advantage in points off turnovers. The Sooners forced 18
Ohio turnovers while committing just 11. Their first turnover didn't occur until
7:38 remained in the first half.
The Sooners open Big 12 play at West Virginia on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The
game, to be televised by the Big 12 Network, will mark the second meeting between
the teams this season. OU won 77-70 in the Old Spice Classic third-place game
Nov. 25 in Orlando, Fla.