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No. 12 Oklahoma fends off pesky Central Arkansas

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Javian McCollum scored a season-high 23 points to lead No. 12 Oklahoma to an 88-72 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday in Norman, Okla.

The Bears were a handful for the Sooners, as it wasn’t until a 14-2 run with less than eight minutes remaining that Oklahoma took control for good.

The Sooners (11-1) bounced back after dropping their first game of the season eight days earlier to North Carolina.

While the Oklahoma offense was solid from the start, Central Arkansas’ offense gave the Sooners fits for much of the game. The Bears also controlled the glass early before Oklahoma adjusted and ultimately outrebounded them 33-31.

The Sooners were 18-of-30 (60 percent) from the floor in the first half, with McCollum leading the way with 18 points by the break. Sam Godwin scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half as well.

But the Bears kept pace, leading for much of the early part of the half until a 9-0 run — the first six of the points from Godwin — finally gave the Sooners some separation.

Oklahoma was ahead 50-42 at halftime and extended its lead to 16 midway through the second half before Central Arkansas gave one last push. A layup and quick 3-pointer from Carl Daughtery Jr. kicked off an 11-0 Bears run to put them within striking distance before the Sooners answered with the run of their own to put the game away.

Otega Oweh scored 16 points for Oklahoma, while Jalon Moore added 12.

The Sooners shot 51.7 percent from the floor, their seventh game of the season shooting 50 percent or better.

Johannes Kirsipuu had a career-high 16 points to lead the Bears (3-11).

Ubong Abasi Etim added 13 points for Central Arkansas while Daughtery and Masai Olowokere scored 11 apiece.

Central Arkansas dropped its second consecutive game and ninth in its last 11 games.

The Bears had 17 turnovers, seven more than Oklahoma. The Sooners outscored Central Arkansas 20-12 off turnovers.

–Field Level Media

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