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Oklahoma Sooners Survive Scare from ULM

OU-ULM (AP Photo) OU-ULM (AP Photo)
Steven Pledger Steven Pledger
OU Fastbreak OU Fastbreak

Originally Published: Nov 17, 2009 9:55 PM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Staff & AP Wire Reports

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma notched the 1,500th win in the program's history by beating Louisiana-Monroe 72-61 Tuesday night. Preseason player of the Year Willie Warren scored 24 points.

After dishing out a career-high 11 assists in the Sooners' opener, Warren played his expected role as the team's leading scorer against the Warhawks (1-2). He got to the foul line repeatedly and scored 11 of his points on free throws.

Oklahoma (2-0) struggled early with ULM's zone pressure, but eventually took the lead for good with a 9-0 run with about 14 minutes remaining.

Ryan Wright hit a pair of free throws to put Oklahoma ahead 40-39 with 13:52 to play, and the Sooners took advantage of Hooper's brief rest to build on its lead. Freshman Steven Pledger hit a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight before Hooper returned and immediately converted a three point play.

Pledger answered with a 3 at the other end and Crocker added another off an inbounds play with 3 seconds left on the shot clock to make it 53-42. Louisiana-Monroe never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

Freshman Tiny Gallon had 10 rebounds, but the Sooners didn't get nearly as much out of their new recruits as in their season opener. In a 95-71 win against Mount St. Mary'son Saturday, Oklahoma's four freshmen combined for 64 points. They had 20 on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma scored the first five points of the game, but then yielded an 11-0 run sparked by three straight turnovers by Gallon, a McDonald's All-American. Forbes pushed ULM's lead to 16-8 with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 9:48 left in the first half.

By then, the Sooners had already committed eight turnovers.

Oklahoma cut down on the mistakes and chipped away at the deficit, finally taking the lead back on Warren's reverse layup that made it 23-22 with 1:37 left before halftime.

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