The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 31, 2012

Sooners can build on success

NORMAN — Oklahoma basketball has had it pretty good. Lloyd Noble Center may not be Allen Fieldhouse, but it’s still an almost 12,000-seat arena, and though its architecture may not provide for the most intimate setting, many very good teams have played to many terrific crowds through the years.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an intimate basketball setting still to be found in the heart of campus, even where some pretty strong teams once made their home.

Today, Sooner fans can venture into that occasionally glorious past when Oklahoma takes on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Howard McCasland Field House.

Perhaps better known, simply, as “the old fieldhouse,” it’s actually a much better version of its old self, an arena that once housed teams coached by Bruce Drake and John MacLeod, led by players like Garfield Heard and Alvan Adams, and in latter years has become the home court and arena to Sooner volleyball and wrestling.

Where this year’s Sooners, led by second-year coach Lon Kruger, might stand against hardwood history is yet to be seen. Still, OU (8-3) will enter the game in its historic home from a very good place, meeting the Islanders (1-9) coming off a 74-63 victory over Buffalo on Saturday night at Lloyd Noble Center.

Tied at the half, the Sooners came to life behind 14 second-half points from a very hot Steven Pledger.

Though victory may not be the biggest issue against a struggling program like A&M-CC, there’s still a premium on a solid performance. After today, OU’s next game isn’t until Jan. 5 at Morgantown, W.V., the Sooners’ Big 12 opener against West Virginia.

On Saturday, OU and Buffalo entered the second half tied 29-29 before the Sooners played 20 of their best minutes. More of the same would be a fine ticket against the Islanders.

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