NORMAN- The Oklahoma Sooners withstood a three-point barrage to power past the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks.
In their last home game in a month, Lon Kruger’s team won 91-64.
Despite the win, Kruger still wants to see his team put together a complete game.
“Two different halves obviously,” Kruger said. “Its not [halftime] adjustments as much as a just a little different frame of mind.”
“Went out defensively a little more focused and a little more determined. We’ve just got to do that for 40 minutes,” Kruger said.
The trio of Brady Manek, Kristian Doolittle and Austin Reaves led the way for Oklahoma again, but multiple other newcomers contributed key minutes for the Sooners.
Doolittle in particular appears to be finding his shot as he finished a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, totaling 18 points.
Even when he was rolling, Doolittle wanted to make sure he didn’t force his shot up too much at the detriment of the team.
“Some people when they have the ‘green light’ their eyes get wide, but I’m still able to play within myself and what we do offensively,” Doolittle said.
Freshmen Da’Vion Harmon, Victor Iwuakor and Jalen Hill all logged double-digit minutes in the win.
Iwuakor and Hill again both flashed in their time, playing good defense and showing no nerves scoring on the other end of the floor.
Hill scored four points and pulled down four rebounds in his 18 minutes on the evening.
“Jalen’s instincts are really good,” Kruger said. “He’s going to just keep getting better and better.”
Iwuakor again provided great energy to the Sooners off the bench, a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed over the first five games of the season.
“Victor’s activity, his energy and motor, it’s fantastic,” Kruger said. “We get a lift when he goes in the ballgame.”
Iwuakor said he just wants to keep taking advantage of his opportunities.
“In practice, [Kruger] always talks about bringing the energy every time,” he said. “So when I get on the basketball court I always have that chip on my shoulder.”
It wasn’t smooth sailing for Oklahoma however, as the Sooners actually headed into the locker room down a point at the half. This is the third time in five games Oklahoma has headed to the break trailing.
The Shore seemed content on winning or losing from behind the arc, shooting 14-of-32 from deep.
Ultimately the salvo of threes wasn’t enough, and the Sooners pulled away from the Hawks down the stretch.
With a matchup against Stanford on the horizon, Kruger said the Sooners must still execute better in the first half.
“We’d like to play the 40 minutes,” Kruger said. “We haven’t done that yet, so that’s probably going to be the focus the next couple of days in practice.”
The Sooners won’t return to the Lloyd Noble Center until Dec. 21 when they will host Central Florida.
On Monday Oklahoma will travel to Kansas City to play Stanford. The game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.