BJ Young's 24 Not Enough For Razorbacks At Oklahoma

by The Associated Press  on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 4:24 pm  

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Steven Pledger scored 22 points, Tyler Neal came off the bench for a career-high 18 and Oklahoma beat Arkansas 78-63 on Saturday.

Andrew Fitzgerald celebrated his birthday by scoring 17 points, all of them in the first half, as the Sooners (7-1) built a big lead and didn't trail after the first four minutes. Oklahoma continued a trend of the home team winning each of the last five years in the rekindled series between schools from neighboring states.

Freshman BJ Young scored 24 points to lead the Razorbacks (5-3), who suffered through a miserable shooting performance for a second straight weekend on the road. Arkansas missed 14 of its first 15 shots and finished shooting 34 percent from the field, limiting its ability to deploy coach Mike Anderson's signature pressure defense.

The Razorbacks shot just 31 percent in a 75-62 loss at defending national champion Connecticut a week earlier.

Pledger scored Oklahoma's first nine points after halftime, putting back a Fitzgerald miss and hitting a 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 run that restored the Sooners' cushion after Arkansas had pulled within six. His 3-pointer from the left wing gave the Sooners a 16-point edge, 54-38, with 12:05 remaining.

The lead reached as much as 19, and Arkansas never got closer than 14 after that.

Oklahoma turned it over on its first two possessions to fall behind by four, then settled in and reeled off 12 straight points to take the lead for good.

The Sooners scored on 11 straight possessions and made nine of their first 10 shots, with Fitzgerald putting back the rebound when Romero Osby's shot was blocked by Hunter Mickelson. Osby drove for a right-handed jam, Fitzgerald hit a hook shot and Osby converted a reverse layup as Oklahoma ran its lead to 22-7 just over eight minutes into the game.

While Oklahoma couldn't miss, Arkansas couldn't find the basket.

The Razorbacks connected just once in the first 10 minutes while missing their first seven 3-pointers. They'd end up 7 of 27 from 3-point range.

Young raced down the court for a finger roll to cut the halftime deficit to 12, and Arkansas pulled back within 41-35 on Rickey Scott's fast-break layup within the first five minutes of the second half.

That was the only charge Arkansas could mount.

Mardracus Wade finished with 11 points and Scott scored 10 for the Razorbacks.

Osby had 10 points and seven rebounds for Oklahoma, which finished with a 38-26 advantage on the boards to outrebound its seventh of eight opponents this season.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



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