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Sooners Rely On Defense In Romp Against Islanders

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma Sooners wanted to be known as a defensive team this season, and Monday's performance against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi showed the Sooners are well on their way to achieving that identity.

The Sooners forced 18 turnovers and held the Islanders to a paltry 29.3 shooting percentage in a 72-42 romp at McCasland Field House.

The two teams faced off in the historic facility for the second leg of the Sooners' Field House Series. Oklahoma played Central Oklahoma in an exhibition earlier this year.

Steven Pledger led a very balanced OU offensive showing with 17 points, knocking down five three-pointers. Amath M'Baye continued to work his way out of a scoring slump, hitting 7-of-11 shots for 14 points after scoring 16 against Ohio on Saturday.

No other OU players hit double figures, but four Sooners scored at least seven points.

The Islanders were led by Joy Williamson, who scored 14 points. Williamson was the only player to score in double figures for TAMU-CC.

Oklahoma came out firing, racing out to an 11-2 lead at the first media timeout. The Islanders kept the deficit from growing for a few minutes, but OU opened it up by hitting four three-pointers in five possessions to blow the game open at 27-10 with 11:51 remaining in the first half.

The Sooners cooled off considerably the rest of the half, going into the locker room up 40-21. Oklahoma forced 12 turnovers and had 13 second-chance points off eight offensive rebounds. The Islanders weren't able to muster a single second-chance point in the first half.

The sluggish play continued in the second half, until Pledger hit a three-pointer and had a fast break dunk to extend OU's lead to 47-26.

After a jumper by Williamson, the Sooners went on a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach with 11 minutes to play.

The Sooners close the non-conference portion of their schedule at 9-3, and will open conference play on the road against West Virginia Saturday afternoon. The Sooners defeated the Mountaineers earlier this year in the Old Spice Classic, 77-70.

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