On the anniversary of one of our country's darkest days, Oklahoma and Villanova shined some light on many Pearl Harbor veterans.
No. 7 OU dominated No. 9 Villanova 78-55 at the Pearl Harbor Invitational in a game that was played in front of active military members and many veterans of the Pearl Harbor attacks. At the end of each TV timeout, a different veteran or group of vets were honored in front of the crowd, earning applause from all in attendance, including the players.
As for the game itself, it really wasn't much of one. The difference was clear: OU shot a blistering 54 percent from 3-point range while Villanova shot a lowly 12.5 percent from deep.
Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins led Oklahoma with some hot shooting performances. Hield started 4 of 5 from downtown to get OU off to a good lead, then Cousins picked up his game in the second half. Cousins led the Sooners with 19 points, including 4 of 4 from deep, and 10 assists. Hield's 18 points and Ryan Spangler's 11 points and 10 rebounds helped OU pull away.
OU coach Lon Kruger spoke with Fox Sports afterward about his backcourt's performance.
"Those guys have led us all along, with Ryan Spangler as well," Kruger said. "I thought Isaiah there in the second half was really good off the dribble; making plays for others, knocking down shots."
Three Wildcats finished with 10 points but didn't have a single player shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
Kruger was clearly pleased with not only his team's effort, but the experience that it gained from playing in that environment.
"That generation (the players) is not really connected to that (Pearl Harbor) era, if you will," Kruger said. "To get them the exposure to the veterans and the servicepeople, I know that for the rest of their lives they'll have an even greater appreciation for all that they've done."
OU (6-0) now has a big time resume win before Big 12 play gets started in early January. The Sooners host Oral Roberts on Saturday.