NORMAN — Oklahoma scored 30 points before the first half was half over, at times threatened to double up Monday’s challenger, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and even inserted crowd favorite James Fraschilla 3:56 before its 72-42 victory was complete.
On the face of it, it was everything the Sooners could have wanted on throwback day at Howard McCasland Field House, where the program won its first regular season game since March 5, 1975 (an 84-79 decision over Iowa State).
The only downside was OU might have gone for a little more.
Scoring 30 in the first 10 minutes meant the Sooners scored just 42 the game’s last half hour. Those first 10 minutes also included six 3-pointers from five different players — Steven Pledger (2), Buddy Hield, Cam Clark, Je’lon Hornbeak, Isaiah Cousins — yet only three more the rest of the game. And after a hot start, OU shot just 40.7 percent (24 of 59) overall.
Sooner coach Lon Kruger chose door No. 1.
“It was good to finish non-conference play with not only a win, but a game where we had a lot of guys who stepped up and played well and made shots and moved the ball well,” he said. “We had good activity on the floor and now we have a few days in preparation for the Big 12 opener.”
OU moved to 9-3, while the Islanders fell to 1-10. The Sooners open conference play Saturday at West Virginia.
The players were with their coach.
“I’m just glad we got the win in the way we got it,” Pledger said. “We kept our foot down the way we were supposed to and did things we talk about day in and day out.”
Pledger led with 17 points, following a fine second half two days earlier against Ohio with 5-of-10 accuracy from beyond the 3-point arc against the Islanders. Amath M’Baye finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Andrew Fitzgerald came off the bench to add nine points.