Oklahoma Sooners guard Jordan Woodard ignites biggest output since 1996

OU makes easy work of Central Arkansas with seven players in double figures

NORMAN – Sitting at the post-game press conference table after Oklahoma’s 111-68 victory Thursday night against Central Arkansas, guard Jordan Woodard cracked a small smile out of the side of his mouth.

He probably couldn’t help it.

It had been a while since he felt like that, like the rim was so large he couldn’t miss.

“It looked pretty big,” said Woodard, who last had a shooting night like Thursday when he played AAU basketball in high school.

Isaah Isaiah Cousins found Woodard in rhythm for the first two 3-pointers – one from right wing and then from the right corner. He knocked down a 3 while falling back into the Oklahoma bench, maybe just as a heat check.

The last one was a pull-up with a hand in his face. Six shots up in less than four minutes, and all six fell through the net. In 3:30 of the second half, Woodard made more 3-pointers than he had ever attempted in one game.

“(My teammates) gave me the confidence to shoot it,” Woodard said. “They told me to shoot it. If they tell me to shoot it, I’ve got to shoot it and I’ve got to make ‘em.”

Woodard’s second-to-last 3 capped a 12-0 run, the Sooners’ third surge of double-digit unanswered points in the game. He finished by tying a career-high with 24 points, scoring 20 in the second half and 18 in 210 seconds.

Last season, Woodard shot 25.4 percent from behind the 3-point arc. He made just one 3-pointer through the first nine games last season and 17 all year. Now playing off the ball, Woodard is 11-for-20 from behind the arc this season.

“It's going to be trouble if everybody makes shots, if Jordan gets hot,” said Cousins, who grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. “We just feed off that energy and everybody else has great energy and we just make shots too and make plays for each other.”

Oklahoma went 11-for-13 from behind the 3-point line in the second half and shot better from behind the 3-point line (59.1 percent) than Central Arkansas did from the free-throw line (51.7 percent).

Seven different players scored in double figures for No. 6 Oklahoma (5-0), including a career-high 12 points by Khadeem Lattin, as the Sooners recorded their highest point total since a 118-point victory against Colorado in 1996.

“They’re moving the all well,” said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, who started 5-0 for the first time with Oklahoma. “I thought a lot of it came out of transition and moving the ball ahead and driving a kicking and making one more pass. Guys shot it in good rhythm.”

Buddy Hield scored 19 points, and Cousins added 16. Ryan Spangler scored 11 as Oklahoma has all five starters in double figures less than five minutes into the second half.

Christian James and Akolda Manyang both scored 11 off the bench for the Sooners, who put together runs of 12 and 17 unanswered points while holding Central Arkansas scoreless for 9:36 of the first half during the runs.

The Sooners face No. 8 Villanova on Monday in Hawaii at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.


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