Men's basketball: Sooners overcome slow start to defeat Louisiana-Monroe in opener
The OU men’s basketball team opened the 2012 regular season with a win against Louisiana-Monroe Sunday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center, blowing out the Warhawks, 85-51.
The Sooners were slow out of the gate — starting off shooting 1-for-8 from the floor — but received a big boost from their bench, which scored 37 points.
“We didn’t open it really sharp,” coach Lon Kruger said. “I thought we were a little bit on our heels, defensively especially, just watching as opposed to dictating.”
OU’s bench mob was led by senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald, who scored 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting in just 15 minutes of action.
“I took a great approach to [coming off the bench],” senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald said. “I’ve been real positive about it, and [coach Kruger] still wants me to be aggressive and help this team out scoring-wise.”
Fitzgerald also snagged six boards — an even split of three offensive and three defensive.
“(Now I’m) just attacking the glass hard and putting an emphasis on going to the boards hard during practice,” Fitzgerald said. “And I think it’s starting to happen for me now; I’m attacking the board more often.”
Electric freshman guard Buddy Hield also was impressive off the bench — scoring nine points, pulling down three rebounds and swiping a pair of steals — but it was the other two freshmen guards, Isaiah Cousins and Je’lon Hornbeak, who really shined.
The two combined for a 10-to-1 turnover-to-assist ratio and four steals. Hornbeak was one of four Sooners to score double figures (10), and he also added five rebounds and a block.
“It’s definitely, definitely good to know that the young guys are picking up things fast,” senior guard Steven Pledger said.