OU-UA: Game Preview

Oklahoma (4-3) plays its second of three straight home games Sunday when it hosts Arizona (3-3) at 6 p.m. CST in a Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchup. The Sooners are coming off a pair of wins while the Wildcats have lost two straight.

GAME SPECIFICS

Teams: Oklahoma (4-3) vs. Arizona (3-3)

Date: Sunday, Dec. 6

Tip: 6:02 p.m. CST

Site: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center)

Radio: Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in OKC; KMOD 97.5 FM in Tulsa; Sirius 91)

TV: ESPNU

Webcast: ESPN360.com

Series: OU leads 4-1

 

SUNDAY'S GAME BASICS

Oklahoma (4-3) plays its second of three straight home games Sunday when it hosts Arizona (3-3) at 6 p.m. CST in a Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series matchup.  The Sooners are coming off a pair of wins while the Wildcats have lost two straight.  Sunday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in OKC; KMOD FM 97.5 in Tulsa; Sirius 91) with Bob Barry Sr. and Mike Houck announcing.  It will be televised by ESPNU with Doug Bell and Reid Gettys calling the action.

 

TICKET INFORMATION

Reserved seats are available for $15, $30 and $45 at SoonerSports.com.  Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

 

PROMOTIONS

It's "Big Game Night" at Lloyd Noble Center.  Fans will have the chance to meet members of the OU football team and get autographs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Clinton Lounge (upper concourse on east side). Fans will be allowed to bring one item per person to be autographed (no larger than a 10" x 10" x 10" and no photos).  The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an OU beanie hat and Lee Roberts of KRXO 107.7 FM will give away pairs of tickets (fans 18 and older) to the upcoming Elton John, Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley concerts, courtesy of KRXO and Oklahomatickets.com.

 

ARIZONA'S PROJECTED STARTERS         

F  23  Derrick Williams (6-8, 235, Fr., 15.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) 

F  42  Jamelle Horne (6-7, 215, Jr., 10.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg)    

F  44  Solomon Hill (6-6, 230, Fr., 10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg)     

G  13  Nic Wise (5-10, 180, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 5.0 apg)

G  24  Brendon Lavender (6-5, 205, So., 6.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg)

 

OKLAHOMA'S PROJECTED STARTERS     

F  24  Tiny Gallon (6-9, 290, Fr., 11.4 ppg, 9.9 rpg)

G  11  Tony Crocker (6-6, 209, Sr., 11.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg)     

G  13  Tommy Mason-Griffin (5-11, 203, Fr., 9.4 ppg, 4.9 apg)

G  13  Willie Warren (6-4, 203, So., 19.2 ppg, 5.7 apg)

G  34  Cade Davis (6-5, 199, Jr., 7.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg)

           

NOTEWORTHY

• Oklahoma has won 73 of its last 75 home non-conference games, including its last 15.  It is 4-1 all-time against Arizona (1-0 in Norman).

• OU is 1-1 in Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series games (both vs. USC).

• The Sooners rank second in the Big 12 Conference with their .790 free throw percentage and have made more free throws (128) than their opponents have attempted (115).

• Junior guard Cade Davis has started the last three games and is averaging 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals in those contests.  He is 8-of-19 (.421) from 3-point range and 10-of-10 from the free throw line during the stretch.  Davis, who averaged 3.8 points over the team's first four games coming off the bench, has made his last 14 free throw attempts and is 15-of-16 on the year (.938).

• Sophomore guard Willie Warren is averaging team highs of 19.2 points (ranks third in Big 12) and 5.7 assists (ranks second) in his six games.  He has scored 70 points from the field and 45 from the free throw line (averaging 9.2 free throw attempts). 

• Freshman forward Tiny Gallon is nearly averaging a double-double (11.4 points and 9.9 rebounds).  His 9.9 rebounds per outing rank second in the Big 12 and his 15 boards in the season opener were the most in an OU freshman debut since Alvan Adams grabbed 28 caroms in 1972-73. 

• Freshman guard Steven Pledger is averaging 12.3 points in 25.3 minutes a contest.  He is 20-for-47 from long distance (.426) and has hit at least four treys in three games.  He has already surpassed the 20-point mark twice this season (21 vs. Mount St. Mary's and 23 vs. Houston).

• Guards have accounted for 406 of Oklahoma's 541 points (75 percent).

• The freshman foursome of Pledger (86), Gallon (80), Tommy Mason-Griffin (66) and Andrew Fitzgerald (30) has scored 48 percent of OU's points.

 

PREVIEWING ARIZONA

Arizona enters Sunday's contest with a 3-3 record.  The Wildcats opened with home wins over Northern Arizona (87-70) and Rice (66-49) before heading to the Maui Invitational where they went 1-2 (lost 65-61 to Wisconsin, beat Colorado 91-87 in overtime, lost 84-72 to Vanderbilt).  They returned home Wednesday to face No. 24 UNLV and dropped a 74-72 double-overtime decision.  Arizona is averaging 74.8 points and is shooting .439 from the field, .342 from 3-point range (6.5 makes per game) and .716 from the free throw line.  Opponents are averaging 71.5 points and are shooting .404 from the field and .241 from behind the arc (4.7 makes per outing).

 

Senior guard Nic Wise, who was on the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy preseason watch lists, leads the Wildcats with his 16.8 points and 5.0 assists per game.  He is also averaging 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest, has made a team-high 11 treys (.367) and is 26-for-27 (.963) from the free throw line.  Wise scored 30 points in the win over Colorado.  Freshman forward Derrick Williams is coming off a 28-point effort against UNLV, and is averaging 15.2 points and 6.0 boards per contest.  Williams, who set a school record with 21 free throw attempts against Wisconsin, is shooting .580 from the field and .640 from the foul line (32-for-50).  Junior forward Jamelle Horne is averaging 10.2 points and team highs of 9.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, while freshman forward Solomon Hill contributes 10.0 points and 5.5 points a contest.  Horne ranks second on the team with nine 3-point makes and was 5-for-5 from deep versus Colorado.

 

Sean Miller is in his first season as Arizona's head coach.  Miller, who compiled a 120-47 (.719) record as head coach at Xavier over the past five seasons, is a 1992 Pittsburgh graduate.  Miller coached Xavier to four NCAA Tournament appearances and four 20-win campaigns.

 

OU-ARIZONA SERIES HISTORY

Sunday's game will mark the sixth between Oklahoma and Arizona, with the Sooners holding a 4-1 series lead.  Both schools are 1-0 on their home court, but OU is 3-0 at neutral sites (all three in the NCAA Tournament).  The programs last met in the Sweet 16 round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif.  No. 2 seed OU outscored the third-seeded Wildcats 55-30 in the second half to post an 88-67 win to advance to the Elite Eight.

 

WEDNESDAY'S ARKANSAS RECAP

Trailing 25-17, Oklahoma used a 17-2 run over the final three minutes of the first half to take a 34-27 lead at the break and never looked back in a 67-47 home win over Arkansas Wednesday.  The Sooners hit seven of their last eight field goal attempts in the first half — six of them 3-pointers — to double their output from the game's first 17 minutes.  Arkansas, which scored just one field goal in the first 9:30 of the second half, went 2-for-14 from the field and committed six turnovers from the 3-minute mark of the first half to the 10:30 mark of the second as OU assembled a 31-5 run.  Tony Crocker led four Sooners in double figures with 16 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds (his previous high was 10) for his first career double-double.  Fellow starting guards Willie Warren, Tommy Mason-Griffin and Cade Davis scored 13, 13 and 11 points, respectively.  Davis was the huge story defensively as he held Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke, who was averaging 27.6 points and 5.8 3-point makes per game entering the contest, to just 11 points on 1-for-6 shooting from behind the arc.  Clarke's lone 3-point conversion came with 2:35 remaining in the game.

 

MORE FROM WEDNESDAY'S WIN

• The Sooners shot .500 from the field and .429 (9-for-21) from 3-point range.  They struggled at the free throw line, however, shooting a season-low .545 (12-for-22).

• Willie Warren entered the game 40-of-44 from the free throw line (.909) but was just 5-for-11 in the contest.

• Arkansas, which played without first-team preseason All-SEC selection Michael Washington, scored its fewest points in five seasons.

• Tony Crocker moved into a share of 30th place (with Joe King) on OU's all-time scoring list with 1,085 points.  He also passed Brent Price on the school's career 3-point field goals chart and now stands sixth in the category (168).

 

HOME NON-CONFERENCE DOMINATION

The Sooners have dominated home non-conference games over the last decade, winning 73 of their last 75 non-league contests inside Lloyd Noble Center going back to Jan. 3, 2000 (good for a .973 winning percentage).  Included was a streak of 49 non-conference home victories that was snapped by Villanova on Dec. 6, 2006.  The current string stands at 15 games.

 

FEARSOME FRESHMAN FOURSOME

The freshman foursome of Steven Pledger (12.3 ppg), Tiny Gallon (11.4), Tommy Mason-Griffin (9.4) and Andrew Fitzgerald (5.0) has combined to score 262 of the team's 541 points this year, or 48 percent.  Among the Big 12's leaders in 3-point makes, Pledger has knocked down 20 treys on 47 attempts (.426) and has two games of more than 20 points.  He has made 11 treys over the last three outings.  Gallon, who is shooting .604 from the field, leads the Big 12 with his 9.9 rebounds per game and ranks second with his three double-doubles (he missed out on another by one rebound).  Mason-Griffin ranks fourth in the league with his 4.9 assists per game.  Fitzgerald is shooting .526 from the field and is 10-for-13 from the free throw line (.769).

 

HEATING UP FROM OUTSIDE

After shooting .286 from 3-point range and averaging 6.0 treys through its first four games, OU is shooting .471 and averaging 11.0 makes from behind the arc over the last three outings.  Freshman Steven Pledger has been the main gun, going 11-for-26 (.423) over the last three contests.  Fellow freshman Tommy Mason-Griffin is 7-for-10 (.700), senior Tony Crocker is 6-for-13 (.462) and junior Cade Davis is 8-for-19 (.421) over the same three games.

 

UP NEXT

OU hosts Centenary on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CST (televised by the Sooner Sports Network).  The Sooners lead the series 4-0.


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