No. 22 Oklahoma beats Missouri 82-63
NORMAN, Oklahoma (AP) - Oklahoma's still scoring. Now, the Sooners are playing defense, too.
Ryan Spangler scored a season-high 18 points to help No. 22 Oklahoma defeat Missouri 82-63 Friday night in the SEC/Big 12 challenge. Buddy Hield had 17 points and three steals and Isaiah Cousins added 16 points for the Sooners, who shot 57 percent from the field and made 10 of 20 3-pointers.
But what changed the game was the way Oklahoma defended after halftime. The Sooners opened the second half on a 15-0 run. Missouri (4-4) didn't score for the first 5:16 of the second half and missed its first seven shots after the break. It's a big step for a team that wasn't always focused on getting stops a year ago.
"Defensively, we've been making progress and we've been getting better," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "Defensively, I thought we were pretty solid all night."
Oklahoma (5-2) was coming off a runner-up finish in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Johnathan Williams III led Missouri with 16 points and eight rebounds. Montaque Gill-Caesar, Missouri's top scorer entering the game, finished with 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting.
Namon Wright added 12 points for the Tigers, who had won two straight.
The Sooners held Missouri to 42 percent shooting.
"We have a lot of quick guys," Hield said. "We do a good job pressuring the ball. It was a team effort."
It was the third blowout loss for the Tigers this season under first-year coach Kim Anderson. They lost to Arizona by 19 and Purdue by 21 last month.
Missouri led Oklahoma early, but a 3-pointer by Cousins put the Sooners up 19-17. Cousins scored 11 points in the first 9:29.
Hield, Oklahoma's top scorer for the season, didn't score until 5:39 remained in the first half, but his layup pushed the Sooners' lead to 27-20 and caused Missouri to call timeout.
A 3-pointer by Hield pushed the lead to 10, and a dunk by TaShawn Thomas bumped the lead to 12. Spangler's 3-pointer right before the half gave Oklahoma a 37-25 lead at the break.
The Sooners rolled in the second half against a Missouri team that is loaded with freshmen and sophomores.
"This is big boy basketball, and you have to be ready for anything they throw at you," Anderson said. "I thought we panicked more than anything, and they put pressure on us."
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