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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Sooners Take Down Ohio Thanks To Scorching Second Half

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

With the Ohio Bobcats in Norman Saturday night, Oklahoma had a chance to get a statement win over a quality, something the Sooners had not achieved yet this season.

Using relentless defensive pressure, the Sooners got that elusive win, taking down Ohio 74-63 behind a torrid second half shooting performance.

Tied at 29 at halftime, the Sooners put on a clinic, shooting 70.8 percent from the field to turn a close game into a no-doubter in the final minutes.

Steven Pledger led the Sooners with 18 points while Romero Osby scored 16 points. Amath M'Baye shook off a horrible slump from the past two games, in which he attempted a total of five shots, to also score 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Ohio, which returned all five starters from last year's team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, was led by D.J. Cooper's 14 points. Reggie Keely had 13, while Walter Offutt chipped in 11.

OU head coach Lon Kruger mixed up the starting lineup, inserting freshman Buddy Hield instead of freshman Isaiah Cousins. While Hield only scored five points, he dished out seven assists to just one turnover, and had four steals.

Overall, the Sooners forced 18 turnovers, 12 of them coming off steals, and scored 22 points off those turnovers.

While the first half was a tight, back-and-forth affair, the Sooners took control in the second half with their hot shooting and pressuring defense. Oklahoma slowly expanded the lead, taking an 11-point lead on a jumper from M'Baye with 10:23 to play.

Ohio battled back, using the veteran experience that got them to the Sweet 16 a year ago to cut the OU lead to four with 7:10 remaining. However, the Sooners responded with two dunks from Cameron Clark and a jumper and three-pointer from Pledger to push the lead back to double-figures.

Another jumper from Clark and a layup from Hornbeak pushed the lead to 69-54 with just under four minutes to play, and the Sooners cruised from there.

OU takes on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Monday night at McCasland Field House in the Sooners non-conference finale. Tip time is set for 2 p.m.

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