Buddy Hield powers No. 3 Oklahoma past Harvard in Diamond Head title game
HONOLULU — Oklahoma left Harvard behind with a big run at the start of the second half.
Buddy Hield scored 34 points and Jordan Woodward had 28 — both career highs — to help No. 3 Oklahoma beat Harvard 83-71 in the Diamond Head Classic title game.
Down 37-35 at halftime, Oklahoma opened the second half with a 17-0 run. It was the first time this season that the Sooners trailed at the intermission.
"I thought the key was our opening seven, eight minutes of the second half," Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. "I thought defensively we created some good opportunities to transition from, and then Harvard fought back after that — which is no surprise."
The Sooners (11-0) shot 50 percent from the field (27 of 54) and made nine 3-pointers. Woodward was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, and Hield 3 of 5. Hield was 11 of 14 overall from the field and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line, and Woodward was 9 of 13 from the field and 6 of 7 from the line.
Ryan Spangler added 15 rebounds and eight points.
Zena Edosomwan scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting and had 16 rebounds for Harvard (5-7). The Crimson had won three in a row.
Spangler hit consecutive 3-pointers in the early second-half run. Woodward made consecutive 3s with about 15 minutes left to stretch the lead to 58-39, capping a 23-2 run.
"It was just us coming out after we were stagnant (in the first half)," Hield said about his team’s start to the second half. "We had a good halftime talk, we came out with a lot of energy, Ryan popped two 3s real quick to give us a spark and we were able to go from there."
Oklahoma took its largest lead at 62-42 with 13:25 remaining on Hield’s reverse layup in transition.
However, Harvard made a run of its own. Edosomwan’s basket after a spin move started a 12-0 run that was capped by Edosomwan’s three-point play that made it 62-54 with 8:16 left.
Edosomwan scored seven straight Harvard points to cut it to 70-65 at the 4:27 mark, but Oklahoma closed with a 13-6 run.
"It was a tough stretch for us right there coming out of halftime," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "We knew transition defense was going to be key and they turned their defense up and really got after it and it was like a jail break to the other end of the floor. They’re explosive and I think they displayed that in that stretch there, which was critical and it really knocked us back."
Hield, the reigning Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, scored at least 25 points for the fifth consecutive game.
It was the first meeting between the teams, but not the first between the two coaches. Harvard’s Tommy Amaker and Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger faced off on Dec. 5, 1999, when Kruger’s Illinois squad beat Amaker’s Seton Hall team 71-61.
Harvard: The Crimson have played against three teams currently ranked in the top 10, losing all three. They dropped a 76-64 decision at Providence on Nov. 14, and lost 75-69 at Kansas on Dec. 5.
Oklahoma: Senior guard Isaiah Cousins eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in his career Friday. Cousins reached the milestone with a free throw in the final minute and finished with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 36 minutes. He’s the 42nd player in school history to reach 1,000 points.
HIELD LEADS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Hield, who set a tournament record with 86 points in Oklahoma’s three games, was named the Most Valuable Player. He broke the previous mark of 79 points set by Washington State’s Klay Thompson in 2010. Auburn’s Kareem Canty, BYU’s Chase Fischer, Hawaii’s Roderick Bobbitt and Harvard’s Edosomwan also were selected to the all-tournament team.
Harvard: Will host Wofford on Thursday.
Oklahoma; Hosts No. 11 Iowa State on Jan. 2.