Clark Leads Rout of Northeastern State

NORMAN, Okla. — The Lon Kruger Era has started off the right way, with a victory.

OU dismantled Northeastern State 85-51 Tuesday night in its exhibition opener in front of 3,187 at Lloyd Noble Center.

"I think it was a good first game," Kruger said. "I thought our guys, in a lot of ways, did a really good job. I really like the movement of the ball early. We didn't turn the ball over very much. We didn't really have to search for shots. We were just ready to move the ball and make good plays for each other. Defensively, I think we did a good job with a lot of movement and a lot of activity."

Guard Cameron Clark led the way with 18 points on 5-for-8 shooting in the contest.

"I feel like my teammates did a good job of getting me open and things like that, being able to penetrate and just getting easy buckets," Clark said.

And point guard Sam Grooms and forward Romero Osby looked solid in their Sooner debuts.

Grooms, the No. 1 junior college player last year, finished with 10 points, hitting a pair of threes on three attempts, to go along with an assist and a rebound.

"It was a little different, the fast pace caught me off guard," Grooms said. "We were talking about it last week, you asked the same question and I was telling you that the pace of the game was a lot faster. My teammates helped me a lot to get used to it in practice every day. We push each other every day. So, I'm starting to get used to it now, but I've still got a little bit of a way to go."

Osby, a transfer last year from Mississippi State, also ended up in double figures, scoring 10 points on a 4-for-6 night.

He had a near double-double with his eight rebounds, six defensive.

"I feel like I just needed to get into a groove and my teammates did a good job of encouraging me because it has been awhile since I've played in a game," Osby said. "And it is different from practice. So, just getting a chance to get out there and get a feel for it, Coach stayed on me, my teammates stayed on me about doing the things that I've been doing in practice. So, it's just fun to get back out there and have a chance to be with the guys."

The Sooners quickly leaped out to a double-digit lead when forward Casey Arent converted a layup to make it 12-2 within the first four minutes.

It was never closer than 10 again, as OU led 26-6 with 10:05 remaining in the first half and 32-6 just a couple minutes later.

Clark capped off the Sooners' scoring in the opening 20 minutes when he nailed a trey with 26 seconds remaining, part of a 16-point outburst in the first half that guided OU to a 48-22 intermission advantage.

"Cameron is a guy that will make a lot of progress in each month for the next two or three years," Kruger said. "He really works hard, he has a good feel for the game. The strength of his game is to slash and complement that while knocking down jumpers, which he can do."

OU coasted from that point.

The Sooners were up by as much as 35 with four minutes to go and 34 on two other occasions.

Clark not only led OU, but he led all scorers with his 18, and five other Sooners finished in double figures, including Grooms and Osby.

Along with their 10, guard Calvin Newell and forward Tyler Neal added 12, and forward Andrew Fitzgerald managed 10.

For Northeastern State, forward Jon Miller led the way with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while guard Kevin Arnold had 11.

The Sooners play host in their final exhibition game against Washburn Sunday at 2 p.m. before opening up the regular season against Idaho State Nov. 11 inside the LNC.

Postgame Press Conference:

Kruger, Clark, Grooms and Osby come to the podium

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