“Early in the game, apparently they were just quicker to the ball, especially on the backboards,” Hewitt said. “We've been rebounding the ball pretty well and we counted on that coming into the game being one of our things we could take advantage of, the backboard. But obviously we were wrong, and I was wrong.”
George Mason showed life at the start of the second half as Johnny Williams scored on a reverse layup. The Patriots held the Sooners without a point for nearly four minutes, but couldn't take advantage on the offensive end. George Mason trailed 38-31 when Spangler blocked a shot, grabbed the loose ball and threw an outlet pass to Clark for a breakaway dunk that ignited a 10-point run.
In the spurt, Clark added two free throws and a tip-in. Sophomore guard Je'lon Hornbeak followed with a baseline runner in transition and Hield had a fast-break dunk as Oklahoma took a 48-31 lead with 14 minutes left.
When George Mason momentarily disrupted Oklahoma's rhythm with full-court pressure and cut the lead to 12 midway through the half, Clark had the answer again, hitting a mid-range jumper and two free throws. Freshman Jordan Woodard followed with the Sooners' lone 3-pointer of the game as the lead swelled to 62-43.
“We didn't handle the pressure very well at all. (We) hadn't been pressed that much on the year,” Kruger said. “It's something we clearly need to work on and be better prepared to handle next time. But when you get in a game like this and are able to learn from it and still not pay for it with a loss, you feel good about that.”
There was little silver lining for George Mason.
“They just wanted it more,” Hewitt said. “The biggest thing to me is to see them get 17 offensive rebounds and 50 points in the paint. That's really disheartening to our team. But we'll regroup. We're nine games into a 30-game season.”