Oklahoma 80, N. Colorado 44

Saturday, December 11th 2004, 3:59 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Taj Gray handled the work from in close and Jaison Williams was on target from long range. Together, they had the Oklahoma offense clicking from all over the court.

Gray had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Williams scored 14 as Oklahoma beat Northern Colorado 80-44 Saturday.

Oklahoma (6-1) took control of the game with a 17-2 run to close the first half. Lawrence McKenzie hit 3-pointers from the left wing and the left corner during the run and lofted an alley-oop pass that Gray hammered down with both hands to make it 39-24.

It was Gray's fourth dunk of the first half. He also had a two-handed jam off an inside move, another two-handed alley-oop from a McKenzie pass and an athletic right-handed slam off his own midcourt steal.

He had 16 points and five rebounds at the break and finished 10-for-12 from the field.

``I don't think he made a jump shot all day, did he?'' Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``He's not going to miss very many of the shots he took today.''

Oklahoma led 50-24 after Williams hit consecutive 3s to open the second half, and Northern Colorado (2-9) was never again within 20.

The Sooners went up 61-28 with an 11-4 run that included another Gray basket inside and another Williams 3-pointer and continued to pull away. Gray capped an 11-0 run with a right-handed jam and another inside basket as Oklahoma extended its lead to 74-37 and cruised to the finish.

Williams, who had made only 30 percent of his 3-point attempts entering the game, was 4-for-9 from behind the arc.

``Sometimes kids have to give themselves permission to be good at what they do,'' Sampson said. ``Jaison's a really good 3-point shooter.''

Williams made 40 percent of his 3-point tries at Xavier in 2001-02, but his percentage fell to 31 percent last season after transferring to Oklahoma. After a slow start this season, Sampson encouraged Williams to keep trying.

``He's a good 3-point shooter, but he just has been missing some open 3s,'' Sampson said. ``I told him to keep shooting the ball because he's a good shooter. ...

``He's almost too unselfish. He had some wide open shots, but he passed them up to give it to a teammate.''

Terrell Everett added 13 points and Kevin Bookout had 11 for the Sooners, who play No. 9 Duke on Saturday in New York. Kirk Archibeque scored a career-high 15 points to lead the Bears, who committed 22 turnovers and shot 41 percent from the field. Oklahoma shot 52 percent.

Oklahoma reserve guard Brandon Foust, who was suspended for one game earlier this season for violating curfew, was not at the game due to ``personal issues,'' Sampson said.