Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners Put Away Pesky Creighton Late


The beat rolls on for Oklahoma basketball this season.

The No. 3-ranked Sooners logged their eighth straight win to start the 2015-16 season with an 87-74 victory on Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center over a resilient Creighton Blue Jays’ squad.

Creighton took an early 5-0 lead in the game as the Sooners had trouble finding the range in their first several offensive possessions.

Two free throws and a three-pointer by OU’s Jordan Woodard tied the score after the first two minutes and a lay-in by Buddy Hield put the Sooners ahead to stay less than three minutes into the game.

Dec 19, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Creighton Bluejays center Geoffrey Groselle (41) shoots the ball against Oklahoma Sooners forward Ryan Spangler (00) during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma opened up a double-digit lead midway through the first half and stretched it to 14 points at one point before the Blue Jays, out of the Big East Conference, battled back to cut the Sooner advantage down to seven points entering halftime.

Hield contributed 16 of his career-high 33 points in the game in the first half. Oklahoma shot 51 percent in the opening half and connected on 6-of-11 three-point shots.

As they had in the first half, the Sooners threatened to break the game open several times in the second half, but Creighton kept storming back, cutting the OU lead to one point midway through the second half. Oklahoma led by just three with under five minutes to go.

That’s when Hield, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, took over the game. He scored the next nine Oklahoma points as the Sooners outscored the Blue Jays 16-6 the rest of the way.

The Sooners came into the game with the country’s second best field-goal percentage defense, holding their seven opponents to 34-percent shooting. Their solid team defense played a big part in holding off Creighton at several critical times in Saturday’s game. OU held the Blue Jays to 36-percent shooting, while the Sooner offense found the range on 48 percent of its field-goal tries.

In addition to Hield’s scoring, OU got 15 points from Woodard and 10 from Isaiah Cousins, the other two-thirds of the Sooners three-guard starting lineup.

Creighton only committed 12 turnovers in the game, two more than Oklahoma, but the Sooners turned the Blue Jay miscues into 21 points, which was a key stat for OU in the win.

The 87 points scored by the Sooners matched their season scoring average, which ranks as the sixth best in the nation at this early stage.

Oklahoma now heads back to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic beginning on Tuesday, when the Sooners will open up with Washington State.