NORMAN — Mercer coach Bob Hoffman was worried going into Monday night's game against Oklahoma about how his basketball team would contain the Sooners offensively.
“We were wondering what the answers might be because they shoot it so well and if you help, they throw it to each other,” Hoffman said. “They share the ball and then they just jump up and shoot it and make shots. It's not real complicated, they've just got so many guys that can make it, maybe as many as I've seen.”
Hoffman's worse-case-scenario came true at Lloyd Noble Center as the Sooners beat the Bears 96-82 in a game where the final score doesn't come close to showing the full dominance of OU over Mercer.
“That was a serious butt whooping from the beginning and against a really good team,” said Hoffman, an Oklahoma City native and former Sooners assistant.
The Sooners did it with a pair of big runs — a 16-0 stretch early in the game that put them ahead for good and then a 20-0 run.
The Sooners forced four turnovers during the first run, and OU put on the pressure on the offensive end.
“They missed a couple shots, and that kind of got the pace going and stirred up a little bit with a couple of traps during that stretch,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said of the early run. “The pace got going, and I thought we really got in a comfortable flow.”
Buddy Hield and Ryan Spangler each scored 20 points, and Cameron Clark added 19 as all five Sooners starters finished in double figures.
“We've been pretty consistent in that area with a lot of different guys scoring and different guys (on) different nights,” Kruger said. “The good thing about this group is they're not at all concerned about who's scoring, they just want to keep moving the ball and keep making plays for each other.”
The Sooners had 17 assists, including six from freshman point guard Jordan Woodard.
“Everybody is unselfish, and we make plays for each other,” Hield said. “We like making plays for each other.”
The Sooners (6-1) will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. Thursday.