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OU 78, Maine 52: Griffin dominates Black Bears

BY JOHN HELSLEY Modified: December 11, 2008 at 12:47 am •  Published: December 11, 2008
NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman Willie Warren showed up a bit tardy for the postgame press conference Wednesday night, yet was cleaned up and sporting a black No. 21 Wake Forest jersey.

A Tim Duncan college jersey.

Warren’s quick-thinking explanation: "There are no throwback Blake Griffins out yet, so this is probably the best post player (jersey) I can put on right now.”

Griffin might not be in Duncan’s league, yet. But Maine wasn’t in Griffin’s league either, taking the full brunt of a big-man barrage as the No. 5-ranked Sooners rolled to a 78-52 win before an estimated crowd of 8,167 at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Black Bears could have used some help. OK, a lot of help.

Griffin kept soaring over them for dunks and boards and easy lay-ins. And that was just in the opening seven minutes, when OU was only getting started.

Griffin scored OU’s first eight points and 10 of its first 11 — all from within two feet of the bucket against the shorter and vertically challenged Black Bears. The Sooners rolled to a big early lead that expanded to as many as 34 in the second half, improving to 9-0.

With step ladders not an option, Maine was left to absorb the beating.

"Tonight, we were a little physically overmatched and, unfortunately,” said Black Bears coach Ted Woodward, "I think it got into our mindset.”

Griffin finished with a game-high 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots against a Maine team that just couldn’t match his height or explosiveness. Most of his points came on a variety of dunks off alley oops, power moves and driving hammer slams.

"The point guards did a good job of finding me,” Griffin said.

And Griffin found the mismatch to his liking, with seven of his baskets coming on dunks.

"That is something he should exploit with whoever we play,” said OU coach Jeff Capel.

Up next for the Sooners
Saturday: Utah, 3 p.m.

Dec. 20: vs. Virginia Commonweath (at the Ford Center), 9 p.m.

Dec. 22: at Rice, 7 p.m.


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