December 5, 2013

Sooners' Pressure Leads OU Past Men's Basketball

NORMAN, Okla. – Buddy Hield led all scorers with 18 points, as Oklahoma (7-1) used heavy pressure to down the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team 78-56 on Thursday at Lloyd Noble Arena. Rashawn Thomas posted a double-double in his first career game in the loss for the Islanders (3-7)

Thomas, who missed the team's first nine games due to injury, had a monster game in his college debut with a double-double. The Oklahoma City native scored 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks in a losing effort. John Jordan added 11 points to go with six assists and five rebounds.

The Sooners forced the Islanders into a season-high 20 turnovers and converted those into 22 points. OU got 12 points from Isaiah Cousins as well as Hield's 18, and six players overall scored at least eight points.

A&M- Corpus Christi started with a Jeff Beverly jumper to open with a 2-0 lead, but the Sooners went on a 14-4 run to push ahead by eight in the early going. OU got it to a 20-10 advantage on the strength of threes by Je'lon Hornbeak and Frank Booker, the latter falling at the 12:13 mark. But the Islanders got back-to-back buckets to cut it back to six at 20-14.

Oklahoma got back ahead by 10 after a dunk and two free throws, but Thomas, playing in his first career game due to a jaw injury, scored back-to-back baskets to cut the lead back to six. The Sooners, though, then went on an 18-6 run to close out the half and take an 18-point advantage into the locker room.

The Islanders came out of the break by scoring the first five points of the half on a Beverly layup and a three from Hameed Ali to cut the deficit to 13. After the teams traded possessions to a 46-31 score, the Sooners embarked on a 10-1 run anchored by five points from Frank Booker.

A Brandon Pye three stopped the rally to make it 56-35, but the Sooners kept the pressure on and were able to answer every Islanders score with one of their own and finish off the 22-point victory.

The Islanders will return to the floor on Sunday, Dec. 8, when they take on UT-Permian Basin at the American Bank Center. The game is slated to tip off at approximately 4:30 p.m., as it will follow the women's contest against UTSA at 2. For tickets, call 825-BALL (2255).