NORMAN — No Kevin Bookout? No problem.
With Oklahoma's junior forward sitting out with an injured right elbow, Kelvin Sampson inserted freshman Longar Longar into the starting lineup, and he delivered.
Longar, a 6-foot-11 center from Sudan via Laurinburg Prep High School in North Carolina, scored a career-high 27 points in Oklahoma's 104-45 rout of Florida A&M Thursday in Norman.
"I didn't find out I was starting until I was getting dressed for the game," said Longar. "Coach just told me to be confident and I went out there and played well. I've been working extra hard on my game the last few days and it showed tonight."
"He was terrific," said Florida A&M head coach Mike Gillespie, Sr. "I think he needed this type of game to show his potential. He's a shot blocker, he's long and he can pass. I was truly impressed with his performance."
The most impressive thing about Longar's performance was that it was no joke. He is not only big, but extremely coordinated, athletic and able to score inside with a variety of post moves, put backs and dunks. He also showed a nice shooting touch going 7-for-8 from the free throw line and 10-for-13 from the field.
"The hard work I've been putting in paid off and my teammates really got me the ball," said Longar, who also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds in 32 minutes of action. "It was a team thing tonight. I just wanted to go out and have fun. Coach told me not to think too much – just play and have fun. Things worked out well."
As for the game itself, it was pretty much Oklahoma's from start to finish. OU jumped out to a 9-2 lead, which the Rattlers would eventually cut to 11-8.
But that would be as close as the game would be as the Sooners used a 19-3 run to break the game open and take a 30-11 lead at the 7:30 mark. From that point on, OU ended the half on a 20-9 run to take a 50-20 halftime lead, and the rout was on.
In all, three Sooners, including Longar, reached double figures as Oklahoma scored the most points since a 109-50 win over Eastern Washington in December of 2001. And OU's 61 percent shooting total (38-62) was their best percentage this season.
Joining Longar in double figures was Taj Gray and Terrell Everett with 18 points each. Everett has now reached double digits in 10 consecutive games.
Sophomore point guard Drew Lavender, who was questionable for the game with a broken finger on his shooting hand, did play and scored nine points in 24 minutes.
"I thought our team played loose and relaxed," said Sampson, whose Sooners improved to 9-2 with the win. "We really shot the ball well. After the Tulsa game our kids realized they needed to play a lot better. Our offense hasn't been able to get in a flow and I thought we did tonight. We've been working hard in practice to really work the ball around and get a good shot. They were having fun tonight."
Oklahoma will return to the court this Sunday for a 3 p.m. match-up against Texas-Pan American.
Longar delivers in OU's 104-45 rout of Florida A&M
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