Eight of Neal’s points came on layups, which was the trend of the night. OU, which was outsized Monday and will be in most of its games this season, outscored North Texas 45-38 in the paint.
The Mean Green (1-1) couldn’t keep OU’s guards out of the paint. Jordan Woodard, Isaiah Cousins and Hornbeak combined for 13 assists.
The Sooners shot 52.9 percent (36 for 68) and were 8 for 18 from 3-point range.
Alzee Williams led North Texas with a game-high 24 points. Chris Jones added 16 points and Keith Coleman added 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
The Mean Green shot 44.8 percent (30 for 67) and were also 8 for 18 beyond the arc.
The Sooners never got control of the game until the final 10 minutes. Their lead was down to four points with a little over 10 minutes left, but Hield scored five points in a 40-second stretch to help OU pull away. The Sooners’ lead never dipped under double digits in the final seven minutes.
Through the first two games, it’s been a case of the Sooners feeding off Hield.
“He has all the ingredients, starting with energy, enthusiasm, passion, being sincere about teammates and doing whatever he can to help his team,” OU coach Lon Kruger said about Hield. “… Buddy does a lot of things well and most importantly he will work at it.”
Through two games, Hield is averaging 21.0 points per game and showing all signs he can be a dominant player. And he’s not afraid to attack.
“He’s obviously going to need to be one of our top scorers and we know he can do that,” Neal said. “We want him taking those shots and getting out in transition and attacking the rim like he was.”
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