Oklahoma basketball: Three takeaways from a game much closer than people expected


It wasn't all bad news for Sooner athletic programs on Thursday. It wasn't as easy as expected, but the other 12th-ranked OU program, the men's Oklahoma basketball team, was able to overcome a slow start for an 88-72 win over Central Arkansas at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Sooners (11-1) had a difficult time getting separation against the 3-10 Bears' team out of Conway, Arkansas and the Atlantic Sun Conference. The score stood 34-33 in favor of OU with under four and a half minutes to go in the first half.

OU closed out the opening half on a 16-9 run for a 50-42 advantage at the intermission led by 18 points from Javian McCollum. The Sooners shot 60 percent in the first half and still managed just an eight-point lead at the half.

The two teams played back and forth in the second half with the Sooners appearing ready to pull away but Central Arkansas responding on the offensive end to keep the game relatively close.

Oklahoma extended its lead to 71-55 with around 11 minutes to go in the game, but the Bears responded with 11 unanswered points to close within 71-66. OU closed out the final eight minutes on a 17-2 run resulting in the final 18-point margin. The game, however was relatively closer than the final score indicated.

The Sooner men are back in action on Sunday hosting the Monmouth Hawks out of the Coastal Athletic Conference.

Three takeaways form Oklahoma's win over Central Arkansas

  • Oklahoma ended the game shooting 51.7 percent and 45.5 percent from three-point range (10 of 22). This is the seventh time in 11 games that the Sooners have shot 50 percent or higher from the field. They rank 14th best in Division I basketball in field goal percentage.
  • Four OU starters scored in double figures led my McCollum's 18 points. Otega Oweh, the team's leading scorer on the season tallied 16 points, Sam Godwin contributed 14 and Jalon Moore 12.
  • The Sooners turned 17 Central Arkansas turnovers into 20 points and added 13 points off of nine offensive rebounds.