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Oklahoma men's basketball: Sooners open with rout of Louisiana-Monroe

Stephen Pledger scored 15 points and three other Oklahoma players scored in double figures as the Sooners beat Louisiana-Monroe 85-51 Sunday.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: November 11, 2012

photo - Oklahoma's Je'Lon Hornbeak (5) and Louisiana's Trent Mackey (5) dive for a ball during a men's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Louisiana-Monroe at the Loyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.  Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Je'Lon Hornbeak (5) and Louisiana's Trent Mackey (5) dive for a ball during a men's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Louisiana-Monroe at the Loyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman

At one point, with 17 minutes left in the second half, freshman Isaiah Cousins grabbed a turnover near midcourt, ran toward the basket and fed the ball off the backboard. M’Baye grabbed the bounce pass off the glass and slammed it home. The fans loved it.

 And the players in the postgame press conference said they were just excited that so many of the dunks — six in all — were finished. In the first half, senior Romero Osby and M’Baye had back-to-back dunks. Freshman Buddy Hield and junior Tyler Neal also slammed.

 Although the upperclassmen led the team, the Sooners’ freshman trio contributed despite their slow start. Je’lon Hornbeak scored 10 points, and Hield added nine. Cousins added two points and five assists.

Unlike exhibition play, the freshmen were not as explosive from beyond the arc. They combined to go 2 for 9 in 3-point attempts.

 “This year, we’ve got a lot more depth,” Osby said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys that are really quick with the ball. We’ve got returning guys that are able to do some really good things, too, so the mixture of that along with more depth has really been able to give us a boost.”


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