No. 22 Oklahoma 109, Eastern Illinois 50

Wednesday, December 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson was worried his starting players would get overtaxed before Friday's big game against No. 2 Maryland.

But a dominating performance against Eastern Illinois Tuesday night eased Sampson's concerns.

Oklahoma got 22 points from Aaron McGhee and 18 apiece from Hollis Price and Daryan Selvy as the Sooners (8-1) beat the Panthers 109-50. Price played only 16 minutes, while McGhee, who was 8-of-9 from the field, played 19 minutes.

``I was concerned about how many minutes we'd have to play our starters tonight,'' Sampson said. ``Even though our guys haven't played that many minutes (the last three games), it worked out perfect.''

Jason Detrick added 15 points and a career-best 10 rebounds for the 22nd-ranked Sooners, who have won seven straight games.

Oklahoma shot 72 percent from the field (23 of 32) during the first half en route to a 60-26 lead. The Sooners opened the second half with a 23-1 run, and the Panthers didn't score until the 11:40 mark.

``I thought it was a great effort by our kids,'' Sampson said. ``I'm not easily impressed by my team, but this game tonight was absolutely the best, that first half defensively was about the best I've ever had a team play.''

The Sooners broke the game open with a 24-6 run that made it 32-12 with 9:08 left in the first half. McGhee, who scored eight of 18 first-half points during the run, said he was having fun.

``There shouldn't be any pressure on us, and that's the way we played tonight as a team,'' he said.

Eastern Illinois (7-4) had won six consecutive games, including victories over Indiana State and Loyola-Chicago, but shot only 30 percent (18-of-60) and was outrebounded 57-22.

Panthers forward Henry Domercant came into the game as the No. 6 scorer in the nation with a 24.7 average. Domercant managed 20 points, but was 6-of-21 from the field.

No other Eastern Illinois player scored in double digits.

''(Oklahoma) was aggressive and they defended our motion offense very, very well,'' Eastern Illinois coach Rick Samuels said. ``They took us out of our offense in the first half, plus they shot 71.9 percent.

``That's hard to beat. It was very frustrating.''