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Sooners throttle Mercer

NORMAN, Okla. — The other night the Sooners bounced back from their first loss of the season, and Monday night they used that momentum for a 96-82 beating (though the score doesn't indicate it) they’d put on the Mercer Bears at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Really a lot of good plays in the ballgame," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "I thought guys had a lot of respect for Mercer going in and battled."

Behind another powerful performance from forward Ryan Spangler, who paced all five starters in double figures with his double-double of 20 points and 13 boards, the Sooners rolled out to a 45-32 halftime advantage.

"Really like it [the production]," Kruger said. "We've been pretty consistent in that area of, you know, a lot of different guys scoring and different guys different nights. Always nice to have that, and the good thing about this group [is] they're not at all concerned about who's scoring. They just want to keep moving the ball and keep making good plays for each other."

They then stormed out of the gates in the second half on a massive run that enabled them to build as much as a 31-point lead.

Guard Buddy Hield, who also had 20, and forward Cameron Clark, who finished with 19, also got in big time on the action.

So, too, did guards Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins, who notched 13 and 10, respectively.

"It's just great for the team that everybody's not selfish," Hield said. "We make plays for each other and like Coach said, we like making plays for each other, and we're just trying to stay consistent on the basketball court."

The Bears, who challenged Red River Rival Texas in Austin and nearly beat them, couldn’t withstand this furious onslaught, though, by the hands of the north Red River team.

In fact, for most of the contest no one was in double figures for them.

Late, center Monty Brown, guard Phillip Leonard and forward Bud Thomas all did so with 16, 12 and 10, respectively.

The Sooners shot a healthy 51 percent from the field, including 45 percent from behind the arc.

Mercer, on the other hand, managed 44 percent while hitting only 8-of-28 attempts from behind the arc for just 29 percent.

"That was a serious butt-whooping by a really good team," said Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman.

A huge chunk of OU’s offense came off turnovers, where they created 22 points off 12 of them.

Mercer, meanwhile only scored nine points off OU turnovers (mostly late), as the Sooners took care of the ball as well in this one as they have all year, finishing with just eight giveaways.

OU next gets back to action with a 7 p.m. CT Thursday contest against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi at Lloyd Noble Center.

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