Neal shines in Sooners win
One of the biggest bright spots of Oklahoma's 95-82 win over North Texas on Monday at Lloyd Noble Center was the play of senior Tyler Neal.
Neal hit some big shots early and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
“I've known that I can do these things for awhile,” Neal said. “I just need to step up and do it. My teammates believe in me. Tonight, my teammates found me in the right positions to score, and I know it'll be different ways for me to help from game to game and I'm ready to step in and do what I can to help in different areas.”
Neal can play all over the floor for the Sooners and figures to even see time at the five during the Big 12 season as they search for depth in the middle.
“A little foul trouble early in the ballgame and Tyler will be able to slide over there,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “That versatility for any club — it's good to have someone that's able to kind of slide across the board to so many different spots.”
SPANGLER STRUGGLES AT THE LINE
Sophomore forward Ryan Spangler missed his first six free throws of the game before hitting his first with about seven minutes left.
He finished 3 of 9 from the free-throw line.
“That's uncharacteristic,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “He missed a couple there early, and that bothered him a little bit.
“He'll be a good free-throw shooter for us.”
In the five European games, two exhibitions and the season opener, Spangler was a combined 10 of 20 from the line.
Spangler was named co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday after his performance against Alabama in the Sooners' season opener.
The transfer from Gonzaga had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Crimson Tide and committed no turnovers in 30 minutes.
Spangler shared the honor with Iowa State's DeAndre Kane.
“We talk about getting turkeys — three consecutive stops — we had zero turkeys tonight. You can't win a game like that.”
North Texas coach Tony Benford on his team's defense against Oklahoma.
BY RYAN ABER