Norman, Okla. —Senior guard Michael Neal scored a season-high 19 points and junior center Longar Longar posted a double-double — 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds — as Oklahoma overcame a sloppy first half to beat Coppin State, 64-47.
The Sooners led at the half 29-24, but Coppin State took a one-point lead on three different occasions in the second half before freshman Bobby Maze came off the bench to provide a spark just with his enthusiastic play that gave OU the push they needed.
"I was looking for anybody to give us a spark tonight and Bobby did that," said Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel following the game. "Bobby has looked pretty good in practice the last couple of days, and he has been begging me to play since he got cleared to play from his foot fracture. At halftime, I told my staff that I was going to put Bobby into the game.
"We had no idea how he was going to do or what we were going to get out of him, but when I told him to go in and he got that smile on his face I thought, 'He was going to be OK.' Then he went out there and provided that spark for us that the rest of the team just grabbed and ran with."
Maze scored his first two points as a Sooner and grabbed three rebounds, while also dishing out two assists in just 11 minutes of action. However, his quickness and length on defense forced Coppin State into several turnovers as OU went on a 10-0 run and broke the game open when he was inserted into the game at the 14:28 mark of the second half.
The Sooners also came into Saturday night's game less than 100 percent as Taylor Griffin and Austin Johnson are fighting the flu. Johnson was questionable before the game and was replaced in the starting line-up by Chris Walker. Griffin was tested for mono on Thursday and the test came up clean, but he has still been fighting fatique since the team got back from Hawaii.
Griffin finished with eight pionts and two rebounds, while Johnson came off the bench and scored six points and grabbed three rebounds.
The Sooners won the rebounding battle 37-27 and shot 51 percent from the floor, while holding Coppin State to just 32 percent shooting. The Eagles had previous lost at Missouri by 22 points and Kansas State by 11.
Oklahoma is now 5-3 on the year and will take a couple of days off for finals. They will return to the court next Saturday against UT-Arlington.
Box Score | Notes | Quotes
OU pulls away late in win over Coppin State
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