Spangler leads No. 7 Oklahoma past Wisconsin 65-48
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma’s first three games featured a fast tempo and lots of points from senior guard Buddy Hield.
The Sooners’ fourth game had neither, but the result was the same. Ryan Spangler had 20 points and 14 rebounds to help the seventh-ranked Sooners beat Wisconsin 65-48 on Sunday.
Hield, a preseason All-American who averaged 25.3 points in his first three games, was held to 12 points on 5 of 16 shooting.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger was pleased to see his team win a different style of game.
“It’s a game we’ll grow from,” he said. “We know Buddy is going to bounce back, at least most of the nights. I know he feels good about other guys stepping up there when they do, too. That’s the way he thinks about it.”
Spangler made 7 of 9 shots, including 2 of 3 3-pointers, and fell just short of his career high of 21 points. Kruger said Spangler has emphasized knocking down open jumpers and is making teams pay for leaving him open.
“Ryan has worked hard on that part of his game,” Kruger said. “He knows that that’s just going to complement everything else that he does ... He got us off to a good start and rebounded the ball like crazy and battled from start to finish. No surprise there.”
Isaiah Cousins added 14 points for the Sooners (4-0), who led for all but 30 seconds against last year’s national runner-up.
Nigel Hayes had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Badgers (4-3), who had won their previous two games. Wisconsin made 7 of 33 3-pointers, but hit just 9 of 35 shots inside the arc. Wisconsin’s 23.5 percent shooting was its worst since a 22.2-percent effort against North Dakota State in 2006.
“They played off of some of our guys who they didn’t feel could shoot,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “Actually, that would have referred to everybody on our team in the long run. When we had the opportunities in the paint, we didn’t finish. I’m really disappointed in that.”
Spangler scored 10 points in the first 7:13 to help the Sooners take a 15-3 lead. Oklahoma led by as many as 17 points in the first half, and was up 34-19 at the half behind Spangler’s 12 points, Cousins’ 10 and Hield’s eight. Oklahoma held the Badgers to 20 percent shooting and Hayes to just five points in the first half.
Wisconsin rallied early in the second half, and Bronson Koenig’s 3-pointer cut the Sooners’ lead to 36-27. But Oklahoma regained control, and a layup by Spangler put the Sooners ahead 52-35 with 7:33 to play.
The Oklahoma football team, fresh off Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State, brought its shiny Big 12 championship trophy to center court at halftime. Coach Bob Stoops, Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield, running back Samaje Perine and center Ty Darlington talked to the crowd.
Ryan, on the difference between this team and last year’s: “You get spoiled when you have five guys who can shoot 3s on the court at one time. We haven’t had that this year. I’m waiting for some of our guys that are pretty good shooters to show that they can commit to defense.”
Wisconsin’s 23.5 percent shooting was the third-lowest percentage Oklahoma has allowed since STATS began keeping track during the 1996-97 season.
Wisconsin: Koenig made just 3 of 18 shots, and Vitto Brown made 3 of 15. ... Previous season low was 61 points. ... Committed four turnovers in the first half and seven overall. ... Made just 2 of 14 shots inside the 3-point line in the first half.
Oklahoma: Spangler had his second straight hot start, having tallied 11 points in the first 6:39 in the previous game against Incarnate Word. ... Committed just two turnovers in the first half and five overall. ... Oklahoma attempted just one free throw in the first half.
Wisconsin plays at Syracuse on Wednesday.
Oklahoma hosts Central Arkansas on Thursday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter @CliffBruntAP.