MBB:Nebraska Drops Road Contest at Oklahoma

Oklahoma shot 51.8 percent from the floor and forced Nebraska into 26 turnovers, as the No. 21/22 Sooners cruised to an 83-60 victory Wednesday at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Playing in front of a national television audience, OU (18-6, 7-4 Big 12) set the pace from the beginning as Nebraska (11-11, 4-7 Big 12) had five turnovers in the first six minutes and finished with 16 miscues in the opening period. The Huskers' 26 turnovers were a season high while Oklahoma recorded an opponent season high 17 steals. OU held a 37-9 advantage in points off turnovers.

Sophomore guard Drew Lavender ignited the Sooners as soon as he entered the game, recording five steals to go along with eight points in the first 20 minutes. Lavender, who came off the bench for the first time this season, finished with 10 points, one of four Sooners in double figures.

Junior transfer Terrell Everett led OU with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting while dishing out six assists without a turnover as the Sooners snapped a three-game conference losing streak. Kevin Bookout added 12 points and a team-high six boards while Jaison Williams also came off the bench to add 10 points in 12 minutes.

Nebraska opened the game with a 2-0 lead on a Marcus Neal Jr. jumper and had a 6-5 advantage at the 16:38 mark of the first half on another Neal basket. OU then went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take a nine-point advantage as the Huskers had three turnovers and a missed shot on their next four possessions.

With Oklahoma in front by 10 points, 18-8, the Huskers countered with a 7-0 run to pull within three at the 10:47 mark. Freshman Joe McCray scored on a layup and sophomore Charles Richardson Jr. hit a jumper in the lane before senior Jake Muhleisen hit a three-pointer.

The Sooners pushed the lead back to 10 points, 25-15, as Nebraska had three turnovers and two missed shots on their next five trips down the court. Lavender's three-pointer with 6:10 left before half pushed OU's lead 11 points, 28-17, and the Sooners would lead by double-figures the rest of the way.

McCray hit a three-pointer at the 3:53 mark to pull Nebraska within 32-20, but the Huskers went cold from there. NU missed three shots and committed five turnovers in the final four minutes before going into the locker room trailing 40-20.

After OU extended its streak to 12 straight points in the first minute of the second half, McCray started to heat up.

The rookie scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second frame, as he broke the NU freshman record with his seventh 20-point game of the season. McCray hit 6-of-13 attempts from the floor, including three three-pointers, and tied freshman center Aleks Maric for the team lead with seven rebounds. Nebraska was out rebounded for just the fifth time this season, as the Sooners held a 31-29 advantage on the glass.

Along with McCray, Muhleisen was the only other Husker to finish in double-figures, as he had 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting. NU hit 42.9 percent from the field, including 47.6 percent after the intermission.

The Sooners took their largest lead of the night at 27 points, 59-32, on Williams' three-pointer with 12:05 remaining. NU was outscored by just three points in the second frame, but cut the lead to less than 20 points only once after the break on a Richardson three-pointer with 1:51 left that made it 76-57 in OU's favor. Richardson was 3-of-3 from the floor, including a pair of three-pointers in the final two minutes to tie his career high with eight points.

Nebraska returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 19, when the Huskers play host to Missouri at the Devaney Center. The game will tip off at 8:05 p.m. and can be heard on the Pinnacle Sports Network and Huskers.com.

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