MEN'S BB: Sooners Rout The Mount

Blake Griffin scored a career-high 26 points and added a team-high seven rebounds to lead Oklahoma to an 81-57 win over Mount St. Mary's in the Sooners' final tune-up before hosting Kansas State in their Big XII opener later this week.

NORMAN - Mother Nature took care of the rain and lightning Monday night outside the Lloyd Noble Center.

Inside, Oklahoma freshman Blake Griffin brought the thunder.

Griffin scored a career-high 26 points, including five monster dunks, as the Sooners used a second-half surge to pull away from Mount St. Mary's, 81-57, in front of 4,023.

The win was Oklahoma's fifth straight and improved the Sooners' non-conference record to 12-3. They host Kansas State on Saturday in the Big XII opener.

"Coming into the season, I know we had a very challenging non-conference schedule, playing against five teams that were ranked, four of which were not at home," Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel said. "We feel good about going into conference play with a record of 12-3."

The Sooners got that 12th win by out-muscling a physical Mountaineer team.

Though they were out-rebounded (33-32) for a second straight game, the Sooners got 46 points from the frontcourt of Blake Griffin, Longar Longar and Taylor Griffin.

"It almost felt like a Big 12 game, which is good going into conference play," said Taylor Griffin who scored nine points and sported an ice pack on each knee after the game. "They're a good team and they played well the first half. I thought we came out better the second half and matched their physical play and were able to stretch it out toward the end of the game."

In fact, "the Mount" was able to stick around much of the first half thanks to out-rebounding the Sooners 20-13. The game was tied at 28-all with 1:47 to play in the half, but the Sooners scored the final eight points for a 36-28 lead.

The biggest spark was David Godbold, who hit two treys in the final 40 seconds.

"Those three's were big," Capel said. "It gave us an eight-point cushion when we didn't play as well as we were capable of playing in the first half."

The second half was a different story. The Sooners quickly scored five points to force a Mountaineer timeout just 44 seconds into the half. The Sooners were in the midst of a 13-0 run in just a span of 2:31 of the game.

"I call those silent runs," Capel said. "All of the sudden, before they realize it, (the lead) is 13."

Mount St. Mary's never threatened again. The Sooners grew their lead to as much as 32.

The Sooners, ice cold from the outside in Saturday's win over Rice, were 6-of-12 on 3-point shots against the Mountaineers and shot 53.2 percent (25-of-47) overall.

But it was the Sooners' ability to get to the free throw line – and Blake Griffin – that did in the Mountaineers.

Oklahoma was 25-of-39 from the charity stripe. Mount St. Mary's was just 3-of-7.

"In the last five games we have gotten to the line an average of 25 times a game, which is really good," Capel said. "We still need to do a better job of converting them."

Griffin was 12-of-18 from the line and 7-for-10 from the field. The two converged with 5:53 left in the game when he drove down the lane and dunked on Mountaineer Kelly Beidler while being fouled. Griffin made the free throw to give the Sooners a 73-47 lead.

"My teammates did a really good job of getting me the ball early," said Blake, who, like his older brother, was sporting an ice pack on each knee and one on his right shoulder after the game. "Thankfully, I hit more of my free throws than I have been in the past, which helped."

The Mountaineers, held to 42.1 percent shooting, were led by Jeremy Goode's 12 points. Goode also had five turnovers and the Mountaineers committed 19 as a team. The Sooners converted those into 24 points.

For Oklahoma, Longar scored 11 points and guard Tony Crocker added 10.

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