Sooners Tame Golden Lions in McCasland Field House

Otega Oweh scored 20 points to lead No. 25 Oklahoma to a 107-86 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 95-year-old McCasland Field House on Thursday night.

Friday, December 1st 2023, 9:07 am

By: Soonersports.com , OU Athletics


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Otega Oweh scored 20 points to lead No. 25 Oklahoma to a 107-86 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 95-year-old McCasland Field House on Thursday night.

Owen was one of five Sooners to score in double figures. Jalen Moore had 19 points and eight rebounds. Javian McCollum and John Hugley IV both scored 15. Le'Tre Darthard added 14 points.

The Sooners (7-0) returned to the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since the 2020-21 season and for the first time under third-year coach Porter Moser. They proved early that remaining undefeated would not be a problem.

Moore connected on a 3-pointer with 11:56 left in the first half, putting Oklahoma up by 12. UAPB (4-5) didn't get any closer the rest of the way.

The Sooners hosted a game at McCasland Field House for the first time since the 2012-13 season. The venue, adjacent to Memorial Stadium, was the team's home from 1928-75. Oklahoma students comprised the overwhelming majority of fans in the 3,059-seat building.

The unusual environment created a deafening roar and an atmosphere that typically doesn't come with Oklahoma home basketball games.

"It was crazy. It's hard not to have high energy when you're playing in an atmosphere like that," Oweh said. "It was great."

Moser had wanted to play a game at Oklahoma's original home since he took over the program before the 2021-22 season. The intimacy was something the Sooners' usual home arena — Lloyd Noble Center — cannot provide.

"I thought it was everything I hoped for," Moser said. "Walking out, I saw the packed house full of students. The energy — I say all the time college basketball is one of the sports students can impact the most."

Kyle Milton led the Golden Lions with 24 points. Rashad Williams added 20, going 5 for 10 from 3-point range.

UAPB shot 8 of 23 from 3-point range after averaging 11 makes per game from beyond the arc coming in. Seven of those 3s came in the second period after the Sooners built a 52-34 halftime lead.

Instead, it was the Sooners' 3-point shooting that turned the game into a rout. McCollum went 4 for 8 from behind the arc, and Oklahoma hit 13 of 30 long-range attempts. The Sooners shot 57% from the field (40 for 70) overall.

Oklahoma is off to its best start since the 2015-16 season, the last time the program reached the Final Four.

Moser, who has left no stone unturned trying to excite the Sooners' fan base since taking the job, was thrilled with Thursday's outcome in terms of performance and environment.

"I can't remember a home game where I was having to give hand signals," he said. "I really appreciate the students coming out, and this was everything I envisioned. My message to them was, let's do this over at the LNC now."

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma: The Sooners played without starting forward Sam Godwin, who averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 points through the first six games. Hugley, a redshirt junior transfer from Pitt, entered the starting lineup and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma: Will host Providence on Tuesday as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

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