NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma (5-1) prevented UALR (2-4) from stretching its win streak to three games with a 101-81 win Friday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center. Senior Will Neighbour extended is double-figure scoring streak to five games with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Neighbour led four Trojans in double figures. Junior DeVonte Smith (13), sophomore Josh Hagins (12) and senior Leroy Isler (11) helped fuel a Trojan offense that finished the game shooting 40.0 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from three-point range. Sophomore James White finished with eight points, five rebounds and a block. Classmate Kemy Osse totaled three steals.
Oklahoma’s Cameron Clark led all scorers with 22 points. OU finished the day with five players in double figures while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent (12 of 28) from long range.
UALR grabbed all 10 of its offensive rebounds over the final 20 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to neutralize an OU inside presence that finished with 12 offensive boards (seven in the first half) and led 18 to 9 in second-chance points. OU’s pressure defense forced the Trojans into 17 turnovers, which the Sooners were able to convert into 28 points. Oklahoma led 16 to 4 in fastbreak points.
UALR trailed by as many as 23 in the opening half before a 10-2 UALR run fueled by two Hagins treys pulled the Trojans within 15 at half, 59-44. The Trojans finished the first half shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, 54.5 percent from three and 83.3 percent from the line, but nine turnovers and a 12-0 deficit in second-chance points allowed OU to build its early lead.
The Trojans played well in spurts over the first 20 minutes, putting together an early 7-0 run, capped by a Smith three-pointer, to take a 14-12 lead just under five minutes in. UALR’s lead was brief, as Oklahoma answered with eight unanswered points as part of a larger 13-4 run to build a 25-18 lead with 10:31 left in the half.
UALR answered with a run of its own. Neighbour pulled the Trojans within a pair at 25-23 following two made free throws and a three-pointer from the 6-10 forward. Again, the Sooners responded, this time with nine unanswered points that increased its lead to 11 and forced a Trojan timeout at the 8:11 mark of the first half.
OU’s run continued following the timeout. Layups by Cousins and Bennett made it 49-31 with under five minutes left in the half. The Sooners lead grew to 23 when Isaiah Cousins’ three-pointer made it 57-34 with 2:25 remaining in the half.
The Trojans were able to bring the deficit as close as 11 on trey a by Neighbour with 10:18 left to play, but hat would be as close as UALR would get. OU scored nine unanswered to go back up 20, 85-65, and UALR was able to get it no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Next, UALR will return to the Jack Stephens Center to face UAFS on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. The Trojans will then play four straight games away from home, beginning with Tulsa on Saturday, Dec. 7.