Capel's Sooners Close Non-Conference at 8-6

OU head coach Jeff Capel

NORMAN, Okla. — Although it might not have been pretty for a majority of the game, the Sooners took care of business yet again on their home floor, winning their eighth this season with a 73-49 decision over the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks Monday night in front of 3,311 at Lloyd Noble Center.

"Well I'm glad to be sitting here with the win, but not pleased with how we played," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "I'm glad to get a win. Now in saying that, I thought we did some good things in spurts—the last 10 minutes of the second half I think we scored 34 points. When we extended the lead in the first half to 27-12, we were in control of the game."

In fact, the Sooners closed the game on a 34-10 run—that included a 14-0 spurt—to go from tied to winning by 24 in the final 10:59.

Earlier in the game, OU had a 10-0 run.

Those were bright spots.

So was shooting 58.1 percent from the field, including a blazing 65 percent in the first half.

But turnovers certainly weren't, 13 of which came in the first half.

"You know what, to shoot 65 percent in the first half and to hold them to—I think they were 37.5 [percent]—and to only be up five, that's like last game. We shot 76 percent in the first half and we were only up seven in that game."

On the defensive side of the ball, although the stat line shows only 32.8 percent shooting for the game for UMES, it was characterized as well by a game of spurts, a few of which where OU struggled to contain the Hawks.

"It comes down to us getting stops throughout a game, not just getting stops in spurts, [but] having the mindset and having some pride where that becomes our identity, not just scoring or getting shots," Capel said.

Guard Cade Davis said the turnovers and lack of defensive stops at times were correlative.

"We were just turning the ball over with unforced turnovers and just throwing it all over the place," Davis said. "We kind of got away from playing defense and we knew if we buckled back down and do the things that we did in the first half that we could build that lead back up."

And that's exactly what happened.

After letting that 15-point first half advantage trickle into a tie with 12:37 remaining, OU expanded out 53-39 with those 14 unanswered points.

The Hawks never got back within single digits again.

UMES had its only lead at 2-1 just 1:12 into the contest, but OU responded by taking control early.

OU now heads into conference play at 8-6 and will host No. 16 Texas A&M Saturday at 4 p.m.

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