No. 16 Oklahoma tops Tulsa 87-68
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — TaShawn Thomas was more than ready when No. 16 Oklahoma put the ball in his hands.
Thomas scored 25 points and Isaiah Cousins added 21, including five 3-pointers, as the Sooners beat Tulsa 87-68 on Saturday.
Thomas, a 6-foot-8, 242-pound transfer from Houston, dominated inside. He shot 9 of 12 from the field and finished 7 of 8 from the foul line.
“TaShawn had a big game today,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “We wanted to play through the post and we have for the last couple of ballgames. I like the results a lot more.”
Thomas’ career high is 31 points against Tulsa on Feb. 16,
2013. He told his new teammates about that stat line before this game.
Thomas also shut down Tulsa center D’Ande Wright, who shot 0 for 5 with three rebounds in 16 foul-plagued minutes.
The bigger Sooners (6-2) shot 46.9 percent and never trailed. They quickly expanded a 44-32 halftime lead to a 19-point margin.
Shaquille Harrison led Tulsa (5-5) with 21 points. Tulsa’s leading scorer, James Woodard, was held to nine points on 3-for-13 shooting. Rashad Ray added 11 points.
Thomas scored eight early points as Oklahoma took a 13-4 lead.
After Tulsa closed to 20-18, the Sooners scored nine points on four possessions, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Cousins and Buddy Hield, who finished with 11 points.
Cousins added two more 3-pointers to propel Oklahoma to a 12-point lead at halftime.
Oklahoma: Cousins, who made five of eight 3-pointers, seemed to make one any time Tulsa got a hint of momentum. He credited Thomas’ work in the low post with opening up the perimeter. “When he plays like that, it opens up the floor and makes the whole game easier for us,” Cousins said.
Tulsa: The Hurricane has lost to four in-state schools among its five losses, having been beaten by Oral Roberts, Oklahoma State and shocked by Division II Southeast Oklahoma State Wednesday. ... Woodard, who averages 14.4, has slumped badly in the last two games, but center Wright has struggled even more, having scored two points or fewer in three of his last four games and was scoreless against OU. “D’Andre is very talented,” coach Frank Haith said. “We need to get him untracked and out of foul trouble. It’s a mental thing right now.”
This was the second year in a row that younger brother Jordan Woodard has gotten the better of older brother James Woodard as the Sooners beat the Hurricane last year in Norman.
“It’s a lot of pressure for James playing against his baby brother,” Haith said. “We just need James to get back to playing like James. We’re not deep enough offensively without him. I thought he got some good looks, but he couldn’t get anything to fall.”
Oklahoma: Home vs. Oral Roberts on Tuesday.
Tulsa: Home against Missouri State on Wednesday.