Sooners Finish Out Nonconference Play With Win Against NSU

Saturday, December 31st 2011, 6:59 pm
By: News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma – OU got just what it needed out of its game against Northwestern State on Saturday afternoon.

A little bit of confidence, momentum and redemption heading into Big 12 play.

Two days after giving up a dozen-point lead to Cincinnati, the Sooners took care of business in their final non-conference game with an 83-63 win against Northwestern State.

Coach Lon Kruger said Saturday's win was a nice, quick turnaround from a disappointing loss on Thursday.

"We have taken a lot of steps," he said. "Most importantly, we have gotten a little bit tougher. Big 12 (play) is exciting. Guys look forward to it. Guys look forward to every game. When you get to conference play all across the country, it takes on a little added level of enthusiasm."

OU never trailed in the game, jumping out to a lead of 11 points in the first half and leading by as many as 20 points in the game.

Northwestern State gave the Sooners a scare when it got to within two points in the second half at 48-46.

But Oklahoma put together a 9-0 run in response, finished off with a 3-pointer by Steven Pledger.

"Northwestern State did a really good job of handling there and battling back throughout the second half," Kruger said. "They got our guys' attention real quickly. For the most part, our guys had good focus."

Pledger and Romero Osby had 18 points apiece to lead the Sooners.

OU shot the ball well at 56 percent, but committed 18 turnovers to allow Northwestern State to make several runs. The Sooners had 17 turnovers against the Bearcats on Thursday.

The Sooners have won six of their past seven games and have a little bit of momentum heading into Big 12 play.

OU (10-2) will open up Big 12 play at Missouri on Tuesday with tipoff set for 7 p.m.