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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Sooners Rally To Beat Oklahoma Christian

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma men's basketball team claimed a 88-76 victory against Oklahoma Christian in its final preseason exhibition game of the season Monday night at historic McCasland Field House.

Buddy Hield led the way for the Sooners, finishing with 29 points -- 19 coming in the second half -- on 10-of-13 shooting. The sophomore went 5-of-7 from 3-point range and added five assists.

Also scoring in double digits for OU were freshman Jordan Woodard, sophomore Je'lon Hornbeak and sophomore Ryan Spangler. Woodard finished with 17 points (with the help of 3-for-5 3-point shooting), six assists, five rebounds and two blocks while committing just one turnover in 33 minutes. Hornbeak contributed 12 points, four assists and four steals, while Spangler scored 11 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

OU made 11 of its 25 (44.0 percent) 3-point attempts in the game and shot 50.0 percent overall (31-for-62). The Sooners also went 15-for-20 from the free throw line (75.0 percent).

Trailing 41-38 at halftime after a back-and-forth first half, OU outscored the Eagles 19-8 over the first 4:16 of the second half to go on top, 57-49. Another 10-0 run put the Sooners ahead 75-56 with 10:19 remaining and they cruised to the 12-point win.

OU started the second half 7-for-7 from the field, with four of the baskets coming from 3-point range.

"It was a really good game for us," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "Obviously, the first half Oklahoma Christian did a terrific job. Dan Hays is a great coach and has won a lot of ball games in his life. They controlled the pace and tempo and did a fantastic job and we didn't affect that very much.

"We came out with much better energy and much more activity in the second half. We dictated it a lot more on both ends of the floor. It was really good. That's why you play these games -- to get some game experience and to get some things you don't see in practice every day. I thought our guys responded really well to it and made good plays for each other in the second half."

Senior Tyler Neal added nine points for OU, while senior Cameron Clark totaled six points and five boards.

"We just need to pick it up early," Hield said of OU's slow start. "We can't wait until the second half to jump on teams. We started off sluggish but we got our team ready and we got our mojo back together and we kept going afterwards."

Guard Willie Harper was 9-for-17 from the field and scored a team-high 24 points for the Eagles, while backcourt mate Nick Tate added 18 before fouling out. Senior point guard Kendre Talley finished with 16 points and six assists.

The game was part of the Field House Series, which saw two games played in the building last season. McCasland served as home to the Sooners from 1928 through 1975.

The Sooners will start the regular season Friday at 4 p.m. as they travel to Dallas, Texas, to face Alabama inside American Airlines Center as part of the Boots and Buckets Showcase.

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