Sooners Hammer Glass in 83-48 Victory

NORMAN, Okla. — If the nation's ninth ranked rebounding team hadn't been dominant on the glass before now, they were tonight, snatching 63 boards, 26 of those offensive, en route to turning a mediocre shooting night into a lopsided 83-48 victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs.

"We rebounded the ball very aggressively; Roe (Romero Osby) getting 18, which is a big number, and C.J. [Washington] getting 12," said head coach Lon Kruger. "That's terrific to see that. The guys were moving the ball well and making good plays for each other. It was good to see that continue."

Despite bringing down those 63 rebounds, OU shot just 39.5 percent for the game on 81 attempts.

Guard Steven Pledger finished with a game-high 22, but wasn't all that efficient, converting just 6-of-15 shots from the field.

"We didn't shoot it quite as well as we have been," Kruger said. "But I thought South Carolina State did a good job mixing up man and zone; maybe we didn't have the same rhythm that we shot the ball with that last two ball games. But, still, we had a lot of good plays for each other, a lot of good looks."

A lot more than the Bulldogs, who only got up 59 shots.

"We are smaller, we're a little slower, we're not as athletic," said SCSU head coach and former OU assistant Tim Carter. "You can't get people--I believe they are shooting 44 or 45 percent from the 3--you can't give them that many looks. I was trying every combination I could just to get fresh people on the floor. They got great looks. They knocked them down. That is way too many shots to give people. We just stunk it up."

In the meantime, while OU was taking care of business on the glass, they were also defending well.

Because of that, South Carolina State never really could get into any kind of flow offensively on its way to shooting just 33.9 percent.

"I thought defensively we were pretty consistent from start to finish," Kruger said. "We had a few breakdowns, which you're going to have in 40 minutes."

One thing the Sooners never had was a deficit.

They led this one from wire to wire, getting off to a quick 15-5 lead and leading by double figures for most of the rest of the game.

OU carried a 39-24 advantage into intermission and built on that in the second half.

With 10:37 remaining, OU stretched it to 20, and by the 5:53 mark, OU led by 30.

The Sooners had their largest margin at 35 after their last bucket by freshman guard James Fraschilla, his first of the season.

Osby, who led the club with his impressive rebounding performance, finished with a double-double after scoring 10 points.

"Coach always tells me before every game to go out there and get every rebound," Osby said. "And it's just something I have to do and it just seemed like one of those days where they were all coming to me. I didn't go out with an intent to [specifically get a double-double]. I always go out with an intent to get a double-double, don't get me wrong. I [just] don't try to force anything offensively. I just rebound and play offense and defense."

Forward Andrew Fitzgerald added 17 points.

For the Bulldogs, guard Shaquil Barber was the only player in double figures with his 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting.

OU next takes the court in its first true road environment of the season, as it heads to Cincinnati for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff on Dec. 29.

"It will be a good test, no question about that," Kruger said. "Cincinnati's a tough club anywhere, but we get them [in their home town]. We expect the crowd to be a home-like environment. It will be good for us, great for us. We've had a few opportunities away from Lloyd Noble, but it won't be quite the environment that we'll see up there in Cincinnati. It will be great preparation for Big 12 play."

The Sooners start that Jan. 3 at Missouri, with one more game in between, a Dec. 31 contest against Northwestern State.

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