Oklahoma basketball: Sooners beat UCO in McCasland Field House exhibition game

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: November 7, 2012
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photo - Broncho's player Nic Combs (30) fights for possession with Romero Osby, center, and Je'lon Hornbeak, right,as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooners men's basketball team plays the Central Oklahoma Bronchos at McCasland Field House on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Broncho's player Nic Combs (30) fights for possession with Romero Osby, center, and Je'lon Hornbeak, right,as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooners men's basketball team plays the Central Oklahoma Bronchos at McCasland Field House on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Alvan Adams came home.

Some of the basketball greats from the 1970s put their arms around each other and sang the alma mater.

The newest Sooners — such as freshman Buddy Hield — linked the past and the present and beat Central Oklahoma 94-66 in Oklahoma's first exhibition game in McCasland Field House in 11 years and its second game since 1975.

The whole atmosphere was themed around the ‘70s from Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” and tie-dyed shirts for OU workers to the young and old grooving out to KC & the Sunshine Band. But in the press room after the game, second-year OU coach Lon Kruger was surrounded by the new — junior college transfer Amath M'Baye and freshmen Je'lon Hornbeak and Hield.

Kruger was smiling. After all, the three newcomers combined for almost half of Oklahoma's 94 points.

M'Baye and Hornbeak both started and finished with 11 and 15 points, respectively. Hield, who came off the bench, led Oklahoma with 19 points, going 3-for-4 from the arc. That's the same 3-point production Oklahoma had in its first exhibition game, a 83-66 victory against Washburn (Kan.).

“Buddy's been bringing that aggressiveness regardless of if he starts or comes off the bench,” Kruger said. “He just wants to play. He's going to get his minutes, and it's nice having that type of immediate lift for sure.”

However, Hield and the other two newcomers said they all had trouble at the start of the game adjusting to the different arena. Hornbeak said they didn't get as much shootaround time as they typically get in new, unfamiliar gyms.

It didn't stop Hield from coming out and making 13 field goal attempts and shooting multiple 3s from the top of the arc.

“It was a different depth, but I adjusted quick,” Hield said. “It was a good adjustment.”

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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