After struggling through the Big 12 Conference slate, the Sooners welcomed the opportunity to face an unknown opponent. Paired with the Ole Miss, valuing each possession became of utmost importance as the Rebels force 15 turnovers each outing. Stepping onto the court, Oklahoma seized the moment culminating in a 95-72 first round win.
Setting the tone in the first half, true freshman Jamal Bieniemy displayed maturity while holding a majority of the ball-handling responsibilities. Consistent decision making afforded teammates open looks throughout the entirety of the contest. Dishing out a team leading five assists, Bieneimy committed just two turnovers.
Bringing a physical style of basketball to the court, Rashard Odomes took advantage of every mismatch created by a screen. Netting a team high 20 points, the guard knocked down 80% of his attempts from the field. Finding opportunities at the charity stripe bodes well for a slasher like Odomes who refuses to shy away from contact.
Joining in on the fun Christian James also poured in 20 points of his own. Stepping back behind the three point line, the senior looked comfortable taking numerous shots from range. Effectively spreading the floor, James connected on 4-of-7 attempts from behind the arc.
By The Numbers
95 – the points Oklahoma scored in the first round of the tournament not only, the number also represents the most points scored in the NCAA Tournament this year
84 – percent conversion rate on free throw attempts…a welcomed sight!
77 – points scored by the quartet of Christian James (20), Rashard Odomes (20), Kristian Doolittle (19), and Brady Manek (18)
57.6 – field goal percentage
25 – free throws attempted, up from the season average of 18.31
20 – wins on the season! The magic number…
4 – turnovers committed kept Ole Miss from challenging down the stretch