18th-ranked Sooners play host to Patriots

Dec 31, 2014 - 3:46 PM Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - The 18th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners will close out their non-conference schedule on Wednesday evening, as they play host to the George Mason Patriots at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Lon Kruger's Sooners come into this contest with wins in four of the last five games, with the lone loss coming against nationally-ranked Washington (69-67) on Dec. 20. OU was able to get some distance from the setback with an 85-51 rout of Weber State just two days later.

A poor start to the season had George Mason buried at 2-6, but the Patriots have fought their way back to almost .500 with their current three-game win streak. The Patriots were last in action on Dec. 23, earning a 68-60 win at Wright State.

Oklahoma won the only previous matchup with George Mason, an 81-66 decision in Washington, D.C. last season as part of the BB&T Classic.

The Raiders came into their matchup with the Patriots red-hot, sporting a flawless home record and a four-game win streak overall. However, George Mason ended both streaks and picked up its first road win of the season in the process. The Patriots were paced by junior center Shevon Thompson and freshman guard Isaiah Jackson. Thompson knocked down 9-of-11 shots from the field and recorded a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Jackson was 7-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line, finishing with a career- high 22 points. Marko Gujanicic chipped in 11 points off the bench for George Mason, which shot a sterling .520 from the floor in the contest.

The Patriots are on a roll right now and are coming off a highly efficient performance last time out. On the season, the numbers have been much more modest, as the team is averaging 68.8 ppg on .434 shooting. Patrick Holloway currently leads the team in scoring at 12.8 ppg. Thompson has been a force in the middle, averaging 12.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. Marquise Moore rounds out the top scoring options on the team with 10.9 ppg. Jackson's offensive eruption of late has not been the norm (6.3 ppg) and could really bolster this team over the second half of the season.

Oklahoma dominated on both ends of the court in its lopsided victory over Weber State last time out. The Sooners jumped all over the Wildcats, shooting a scorching .688 from the floor in the first half and taking a 51-12 lead into halftime, effectively putting the game out of reach. OU really abused Weber State inside, outscoring its foe 54-8 in the paint. Five Sooners finished with double-digit point totals in the win, led by Ryan Spangler and Jordan Woodard with 15 points apiece. TaShawn Thomas added 13 points, while Buddy Hield and Dinjiyi Walker chipped in with 10 each.

Oklahoma is a dangerous team, especially on the offensive end, where the Sooners are averaging 75.2 ppg, on a healthy .452 shooting. Scoring depth comes as four of the team's five starters are sporting double-digit scoring averages. Hield tops the team with his 15.5 ppg. Isaiah Cousins ranks second on the team with 13.2 ppg, followed by Thomas and Spangler, who net 10.9 and 10.5 ppg, respectively. Spangler, a 6-8 forward has been extremely efficient, shooting at a .618 clip, while also leading the team in rebounding (8.8 rpg).

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