Oklahoma hoping to bounce back in bout with Weber State

Dec 22, 2014 - 3:34 PM Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Having recently suffered their third loss of the season, the Oklahoma Sooners will try to regroup as they play host to the Weber State Wildcats in non-conference action on Monday night.

Weber State has had a rough start to the 2014-15 campaign, as it has a 4-5 record heading into this contest. The Wildcats had lost two in a row on the heels of a modest two-game win streak prior to Saturday's home date with Utah Valley. In that contest, WSU righted the ship by claiming a 73-61 victory -- its third in four home games this season.

Oklahoma took a 7-2 record into Saturday's showdown with No. 16 Washington in Las Vegas, and coach Lon Kruger's club came up just short in its bid to win its fourth straight game as it fell in a 69-67 final. The Sooners' other two losses came against a pair of solid foes in Creighton (65-63) and Wisconsin (69-56), and they will try to improve to 5-0 at home with a win tonight. OU will play one more non-league opponent in George Mason on New Year's Eve, before opening the Big 12 Conference portion of its schedule at home versus Baylor four days later.

Oklahoma has won 106 of its last 110 home games against non-conference opponents. This is the first meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.

Richaud Gittens drained five 3-pointers in amassing 21 points, and Jeremy Senglin added 16 points while handing out eight assists, all of which helped Weber State knock off visiting Utah Valley on Saturday. Joel Bolomboy and Chris Golden chipped in 11 points apiece for the Wildcats, who shot just 40.7 percent from the floor, but did knock down 12-of-26 long-range launches (.462). A near-perfect showing at the foul line (17-of-18) also played an integral role, as did a defensive effort that allowed the Wolverines to convert only 36.2 percent of their total shots, including a mere 3-of-12 on 3- point tries. UVU stayed in the game by going 24-of-28 at the charity stripe.

Senglin is averaging a team-best 14.4 points and 3.4 assists per game, while Bolomboy is a consistent double-double threat with 13.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per outing. Gittens turns in 10.0 ppg for a Weber State squad that produces 63 ppg while allowing 64.8 ppg. The Wildcats have performed well at the free-throw line (.790), but are in the red in both rebounding (-3.1) and turnover (-1.9) differential.

As if facing an undefeated team wasn't hard enough, Oklahoma allowed Washington to open up a 20-point, first-half lead before waking up and doing what it could to get back into contention. Almost all of the team's scoring was done by the starting five, four of which reached double figures. Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield led the way with 17 points apiece, while Ryan Spangler and Tashawn Thomas each finished with 11. The Sooners shot just 37.5 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes, but improved to 46.9 percent after the break. Meanwhile, the Huskies knocked down nearly half of their total shots in the contest, while securing a 14-8 edge in points from the foul line.

Hield continues to pace Oklahoma in scoring with his 16.1 ppg, but Cousins (13.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) isn't far off the pace, while Thomas (10.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Spangler (10.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg) net double digits on a consistent basis as well. As a team, the Sooners are generating 74.2 ppg while permitting only 61.9 ppg, and they also own favorable margins in both the rebounding (+2.5) and turnover (+1.5) departments. Stingy defense has played a significant role in the team's positive start, as OU is allowing its enemies to shoot just 37.4 percent from the field, which includes a 29.2 percent effort from beyond the arc.

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