Oklahoma entered Wednesday night’s game against Xavier as one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 in terms of scoring. Seniors Brady Manek and Austin Reaves were the league’s top two scorers and sophomore guard De’Vion Harmon was fourth. The trio combined for 41 points on a 13-for-26 performance from the floor. On most night’s that would be a decent outing…but this wasn’t most nights.
Xavier blistered the nets at the Cintas Center, shooting 57.1% from the floor and 59.4% from three-point range. It was the long-range daggers the Musketeers were throwing in that provided the tidal wave to sweep away any hopes the Sooners had of winning a second consecutive game on the road.
Paced by sophomore forward Zach Freemantle’s 28-point performance, Xavier drained 19 three-point shots to set a new program record for number of made treys. The previous program record was 16 but Freemantle moved the Musketeers passed that with six minutes and some change left in the game.
“This is a really fun team to be a part of,” Freemantle said after the 99-77 dismantling of the Sooners. “We’ve got so many people capable of knocking down shots.”
“Capable” is right. Paul Scruggs and Nate Johnson joined Freemantle in the 20-point club on Wednesday night. In true Three Musketeers fashion the trio combined for 73 of Xavier’s 99 points. Johnson sank seven three-point shots himself and Freemantle’s 28 points logged was a new career high.
“Xavier was much more physical, much tougher to the ball,” said Kruger after his team’s first loss of the season. “We didn’t do much defensively to keep them out of their rhythm and out of their routine, and we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
Oklahoma returns to Norman to play Florida A&M on Saturday.
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