Oklahoma basketball: Points are down, but Sooners still top century mark

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 08: Head coach Lon Kruger of the Oklahoma Sooners talks with Christian James
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 08: Head coach Lon Kruger of the Oklahoma Sooners talks with Christian James /

The men’s Oklahoma basketball team is averaging 122 points a game three-games into its exhibition tour Down Under.

The score was much closer and the margin of victory considerably narrower, but the Sooners still managed to top the century mark in a 104-89 victory earlier today over the Sydney Kings to post win number three in their 11-day international trip to New Zealand and Australia.

The central takeaway so far in OU’s three games against international competition is the impressive play of newcomer Trae Young, who appears to be everything and more of what the college experts envisioned he would be.

For the third straight game, the highly-touted freshman led the Sooner offense with a 21-point scoring performance. It was also the third consecutive outing in which he has exceeded 20 points. Junior Christian James continued his equally hot hand adding 18 points of his own, including going a perfect three for three from behind the three-point line.

James has made the last eight three-point shots he has attempted. He was five-for-five in three-pointers in the win over the Sutherland Sharks on Wednesday.

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For the second straight outing, every Oklahoma player in the lineup scored in the game and Young and sophomore point guard Jordan Shepherd continued to display their distribution skills combining for 11 assists.

There was a good reason this exhibition contest was more competitive than the previous two games on the tour. The Kings are the top professional team in Australia’s largest city and the tallest and most skilled team the Sooners will face on this tour. Despite this, OU pounded the Kings on the boards claiming a 56-37 rebounding advantage.

Much like they did last season, the Sooners jumped on their Australian opponent early, building a 36-25 lead after one quarter and stretching it out to 18 points, 63-45, by halftime. Unlike last season, however, Oklahoma was able to finish off what it started. The Sooners led by as much as 29 points in the second half and held off the Kings down the stretch to seal the victory.

Oklahoma has one game remaining on the tour. They will travel up the coastline to the northern city of Cairns where they will tip off on Sunday against the Cairns Taipans.