Oklahoma 74, Liberty 48

Thursday, November 16th 2006, 2:53 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Longar Longar scored 21 points and freshman Tony Crocker added 18 as Oklahoma beat Liberty 74-48 Thursday night.

The Sooners (2-0) pulled away with a 21-2 run in the first half that Crocker started with nine straight points, including back-to-back dunks and a three-point play.

The Flames went more than 13 minutes without a field goal, and the drought didn't end until Alex McLean's layup with 17 seconds left cut Oklahoma's halftime lead to 29-12.

Liberty got back within 46-31 after Larry Blair scored five points in a row, but Oklahoma came back with eight straight points, capped by Longar's three-point play.

After hitting a turnaround, fallaway jumper, Longar slapped a low five with first-year Sooners coach Jeff Capel, then went to the line and made his free throw to extend the lead to 54-31.

Oklahoma, which also got 10 points from Nate Carter and nine points and a career-high 12 rebounds from Taylor Griffin, led by as many as 29 points.

Blair, who averaged a league-high 24.2 points in Big South games last season, started out 1-for-12 as the Flames fell behind. He finished 8-for-23 with 23 points, and McLean scored 13.

Liberty lost its sixth straight season opener. The Flames made 4-of-23 shots and committed 12 of their 17 turnovers in the first half.

The Sooners, who played their first two games with top returning scorer Michael Neal suspended because of a secondary NCAA rule violation, will get him back for their game Monday against Memphis at the Maui Invitational.