Alexander leads Sooners to rout of Athletes First

Freshmen guard De'Angelo Alexander takes a charge during Oklahoma's 100-61 exhibiion win over Athletes First Sunday in Norman. Alexander led the Sooners with 25 points.

The third-ranked Oklahoma men's basketball team bounced back from their disappointing loss to Alabama by beating Athletes First, 100-61, in their last exhibition game of the season.

Freshman De'Angelo Alexander came off the bench and gave the Sooners the kind of scoring they were looking for when they decided to redshirt senior Jason Detrick. Alexander led the Sooners in scoring with 25 points and he hit 6 of 8 three-point shots and finish 9 of 14 shooting from the floor.

"I owe a lot of my success today to the rest of my teammates," said Alexander. "They did a great job of getting me the extra pass. We've been working really hard in practice on not taking so many hard shots and taking the right shots."

"I thought we improved," said Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. "Kevin (Bookout) got better today. I thought De'Angelo got better today. I thought our best scorer today was Jabahri. His energy level was good. He played with some tenacity."

"It takes a while to be a good basketball team," Sampson added. "This is a completely different team than we had in the past. Because we have four starters back, most people think we can walk out and just start where we left off."

Junior center Jabahri Brown was the Sooners best player tonight according to Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. Brown finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds with five of his buckets today coming on jump shots from the free throw line.

"One of the things we've needed to improve on is our low-post scoring so I've been working all summer long on my shots," said Brown. "If I'm open, I'm going to take the shot. I'm just trying to concentrate more on my free throws and I also have great teammates supporting me even when I miss a few."

The Sooners played with much more intensity today and handled the ball much better. Oklahoma finished with a Sooners-like 26 assists, but they were still turning the ball over too much to satisfy Coach Sampson as they finished with 19.

OU won the rebounding battle 48-41.

Freshman Kevin Bookout had a solid game finishing with 8 points on 4 of 5 shooting and five rebounds, two on the offensive end. The Sooners are still not hitting the offensive rebounding end like they want as they were outrebounded on the offensive glass 16-14.

"We've really been working hard in practice this week," added Brown. "That loss to Alabama kind of exposed some of the things that we had to work on so I think today's game showed that we're going to improve as a team and we're going to get better and better day-by-day."

Former Tulsa guard and Oklahoma City native Tony Heard led Athletes First with 15 points. Former Sooner guard Eric Martin also started for Athletes First and scored five points in 30 minutes of play.

Oklahoma will resume regular season play this Friday in the Sooner Invitational. They will take on UC-Irvine at 7:00 pm in first round action. Princeton and Western Michigan play the first game at 4:40 pm.

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