Gray helps push Oklahoma past Southern

Gray leads OU with 22 points and 14 rebounds. See inside for link to complete Box Score. (AP Photo)

NORMAN — No. 8 Oklahoma overcame a poor shooting performance to push their non-conference home winning streak to 44 games with a 68-54 win over Southern Saturday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Senior forward Taj Gray led the way with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while frontcourt mate Kevin Bookout added 16 points and seven boards.

Terrell Everett dished out a game-high six assists and also finished in double figures with 10 points.

Overall, the Sooners shot just 38.1 percent from the field. OU's starting guard tandem of Everett, David Godbold and Michael Neal hit just eight of their 35 shot attempts.

Neal, who made his first start as a Sooner, was 3-for-16 overall and 3-for-13 from 3-point range.

On a more positive note, Oklahoma continued their streak of outrebounding every opponent this season with a 47-34 edge on the boards. OU also pulled down a season-high offensive 27 rebounds and committed a season-low 10 turnovers.

And Oklahoma's defense held the Jaguars to a season-low 35 percent shooting performance from the field.

"We didn't shoot the ball well tonight at all, but we had 27 offensive rebounds," said Oklahoma hed coach Kelvin Sampson. "This game was similar to the game last year against Texas when we didn't outscore them – we out rebounded them. Our zone offense looked the best tonight that it has all year. We had a ton of good looks, we battled and we made key 3-point shots. Tonight was a season low for turnovers and a season high for offensive rebounds. We did a lot of good things and I'm pleased with how everyone played." With the win the Sooners improve to 6-1, while Southern falls to 1-7.

Oklahoma will now prepare for a tough four-game stretch (West Virginia, Oral Roberts, Alabama and at SMU) before conference play begins on Jan. 7.

The Sooners will play West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the All-College Classic at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

"We are going to start preparing for West Virginia tomorrow," Sampson said. "West Virginia is a great team that is not that many points from being undefeated. They've lost three games this season to Texas, Kentucky and LSU by only a few points. This game is going to be a great test for us."

OU-Southern Box Score

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