Hield leads No. 15 Oklahoma past Oral Roberts
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Buddy Hield was glad to have his shooting stroke back for a night.
The junior forward scored 16 points to help No. 15 Oklahoma defeat Oral Roberts 85-53 on Tuesday night.
Hield, a preseason all-conference selection, was shooting 36 percent from the field for the season before hitting 6 of 10 against the Golden Eagles, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. He was coming off a 4-for-17 effort against Tulsa, but he didn't hesitate when the opportunity arose against Oral Roberts.
''I feel a little relieved, but I still got to come and shoot more,'' he said. ''And I'm thankful for my teammates for finding me an open shot. Hats off to them for finding me good spots.''
TaShawn Thomas, a senior transfer from the University of Houston, followed up his 25-point outing against Tulsa last Saturday by scoring 14 points for the Sooners. He got up holding his right wrist after going after a loose ball with 15:17 to play and did not return.
''Yeah, it's a little sore,'' he said. ''I'll be alright, though.''
Ryan Spangler had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Isaiah Cousins scored 13 points and Jordan Woodard added eight points and eight assists for Oklahoma (7-2), which shot 54 percent from the field to win its third straight.
Bobby Word led Oral Roberts (4-5) with 19 points.
Oral Roberts' Obi Emegano, a guard who entered the game leading the Golden Eagles with 16.9 points per game, went scoreless and missed all three of his shots in 26 minutes.
''He just didn't play well,'' Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton said. ''Didn't have the energy. They did a good job. They switched on screens.''
It was Oral Roberts' third game in four nights. Sutton said he still expected his team to have the energy to play better.
''I have taken a lot of teams into these situations, and our guys have always competed, and I thought that would be enough to maybe get through the little bit of fatigue these guys may have felt,'' he said. ''Obviously for whatever reason, we didn't play very well.''
Albert Owens added 12 points for Oral Roberts, which had won its previous two games. The Sooners held the Golden Eagles to 33 percent shooting.
Oral Roberts scored first, but the Sooners scored the next nine points.
Thomas scored 10 points in the first 6:06, including three dunks, to help Oklahoma take control.
''I thought he established early that we could go to the post and make them make some adjustments as far as helping and as doubling down,'' Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.
Frank Booker's long 2-pointer as time expired in the first half put the Sooners up 39-24. The Sooners shot 50 percent from the field before the break and held Oral Roberts to 36 percent shooting.
Isaiah Cousins hit a 3-pointer in the first minute of the second half, and Thomas followed with a layup to push the margin to 20.
A breakaway dunk by Spangler after a steal by Hield bumped Oklahoma's advantage to 55-26.
An alley-oop dunk by Hield on an assist from C.J. Cole made it an 80-42 game.
''Oklahoma was really good,'' Sutton said. ''We were terrible. Played with no effort. We didn't compete.''
Oklahoma was the bigger, more physical team. The Sooners outscored Oral Roberts 42-12 in the paint, and Thomas and Spangler combined to make 13 of 19 shots.
''We've been practicing it every day,'' Spangler said. ''If it is one-on-one, take it. If it isn't, then kick it out and get an open shot for a guard. I think we are just taking smart shots right now.''
Oklahoma: Spangler, a power forward who entered the game 6 for 10 from 3-point range, made one of two. ... Spangler has double-digit rebounds in five of nine games. ... Oklahoma outscored Oral Roberts 30-3 in points off turnovers. ... Freshman F Khadeem Lattin scored a season-high eight points.
Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles defeated Missouri State 80-61 on Monday night. ... Oral Roberts outrebounded Oklahoma 41-35. ... The Golden Eagles committed 19 turnovers. ... Oral Roberts led for nine seconds.
Oklahoma: Plays Washington at the MGM Grand Showcase in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Oral Roberts: Plays at Memphis on Saturday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.