Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports

Shockers fade in 2nd half as Oklahoma routs WSU, 80-48

December 08, 2018 - 3:27 pm
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Oklahoma's defense suffocated Wichita State in an 80-48 win on Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Sooners held the Shockers to 6-for-30 shooting in the second half. Overall, Wichita State shot just 24.2 percent — the fourth-lowest field goal percentage by an Oklahoma opponent during the Lon Kruger coaching era started in 2011.

"Guys just have an understanding of their roles, what they need to do to help the team to be effective defensively," Kruger said. "It has become contagious. Guys have a lot of pride on that end of the floor."

The Sooners have held three of their past four opponents under 60 points, fueling a four-game win streak.

"I think that just has a lot to do with us enjoying playing defense," Oklahoma guard Miles Reynolds said. "We know when we're locked in defensively. When we're playing as a unit, not too many teams are going to get very good looks against us. That's going to allow us to get out in transition."

The offense was working, too. Christian James had 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, Reynolds scored 14 points, Matt Freeman scored 11 and Aaron Calixte added 10 for the Sooners (8-1).

James, the Big 12's leading scorer with nearly 20 points per game, made 3 of 6 3-pointers.

Markis McDuffie scored 19 points for Wichita State, but he made just 6 of 17 shots. No one else scored in double figures for the Shockers (4-4).

"We weren't executing," McDuffie said. "So I guess guys were feeling we had to force up shots. We weren't poised."

The Sooners led 25-22 in the first half before a 3-pointer by James started a 7-0 run that pushed Oklahoma's lead to 32-22. Oklahoma led 32-27 at halftime behind 12 points and 10 rebounds from James.

A 3-pointer by freshman Jamal Bieniemy early in the second half pushed Oklahoma's lead back up to 10. A 3-pointer by Calixte increased the lead to 51-34, and the Sooners controlled the rest of the game.

"It was a good win against a club that's going to win a lot of ball games this year," Kruger said. "I thought the first half we looked careless with the ball. I was really impressed with the way the guys regrouped and really came out and played awfully well in the second half."

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