UCA hangs with, but beaten by OU

Oklahoma guard Javian McCollum shoots next to Central Arkansas forward Caleb Carr, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
Oklahoma guard Javian McCollum shoots next to Central Arkansas forward Caleb Carr, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)


NORMAN, Okla. -- Javian McCollum scored 23 points and Otega Oweh added 16 as No. 12 Oklahoma bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 88-72 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday night.

Sam Godwin scored 14 points and Jalon Moore had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Sooners (11-1), who were back in action for the first time since losing 81-69 to then-No. 11 North Carolina on Dec. 20.

Oklahoma played its worst game of the season against the Tar Heels after climbing to No. 7 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, shooting a season-low 40.4% and committing a season-high 18 turnovers.

Johannes Kirsipuu scored 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting to lead four players in double figures for Central Arkansas, which shot 47% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. Ubongabasi Etim added 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Bears, and Carl Daughtery and Masai Olowokere chipped in 11 each.

The Bears committed 17 turnovers and the Sooners capitalized with 20 points off turnovers. Oklahoma had a slight advantage on the boards, outrebounding UCA 33-31.

The Sooners missed five of their first seven shots against Central Arkansas (3-11) and trailed 12-8 after 5 minutes. But OU found its shooting touch after that and led 50-42 at halftime on the strength of 18 points by McCollum, who made 4 of 5 shots from three-point range.

"There's always Christmas slough," said Oklahoma Coach Porter Moser, who coached at Arkansas-Little Rock from 2000-03, referring to the extended layoff between games. "You go home, there's fuzzy stockings and goodies ... everything's nice.

"It was short turnaround playing the 28th ... but in hindsight, you get growth in life through struggle. The fact that we struggled a little bit tonight is only going to help us with teaching moments the next 48 hours."

Oklahoma went on a 15-2 run to extend the lead to 71-55 with 11 minutes left. The Bears rallied by scoring the next 11 points and closing within 71-66.

The Sooners tightened their defense and closed out the game on a 17-6 run. Oklahoma shot 52% from the field and made 10 of 22 three-pointers (45%).

"I thought our guys really responded in the second half defensively," Moser said. "That's where I thought we had a big jump."

Oklahoma got eight points in the second half from senior Le'Tre Darthard, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his college career.

"I just try to help my team out in any way I can," said Darthard, a transfer from Utah Valley. "If that's making shots or getting stops that's what I try to do."

Before the game, OU held a moment of silence for former two-sport star Ryan Minor. Players wore shooting shirts with Minor's name and No. 12 on the back during warmups.

The 49-year-old Minor died of cancer on Dec. 22. He pitched and played first base and helped the Sooners win a national title in baseball in 1994. He was also named Big Eight Player of the Year in 1995 on the basketball court.

OHIO VALLEY MEN

UALR 81, TENNESSEE TECH 75

Arkansas-Little Rock opened Ohio Valley Conference play by picking up a victory on the road at Tennessee Tech on Thursday night at the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn.

Jamir Chaplin scored a game-high 25 points and collected seven rebounds to lead UALR (7-7, 1-0 OVC). Khalen Robinson shot 5 of 7 from three-point range and finished with 17 points and 4 assists in the victory.

Tennessee Tech (5-9, 0-1) was paced by Josiah Davis who scored 20 points while shooting 9 of 13 from the field. David Early scored 15 points and Jayvis Harvey added 13 for the Golden Eagles.

Chaplin scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and made a critical free throw with 13 seconds left to give the Trojans a two-possession lead at 79-75. After trailing 37-36 at halftime, UALR outscored Tennessee Tech 45-38 in the second half to secure the road victory.

OHIO VALLEY WOMEN

UALR 59, TENNESSEE TECH 57

Tia Harvey nailed a shot just inside the three-point line with 32 seconds left in the game to lift Arkansas-Little Rock to a win on the road at Tennessee Tech on Thursday night at the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn.

It was the opening game of Ohio Valley Conference play for both teams in what was a rematch of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship game a season ago, in which Tennessee Tech upset UALR 54-46.

Leilani Wimbish-Gay led the Trojans with 17 points and five rebounds on 7 of 12 shooting from the field and 2 of 4 from three-point range. Faith Lee and Jayla Brooks also scored in double figures for UALR (2-10, 1-0 OVC), finishing the contest with 16 points and 10 points, respectively.

Preseason OVC Player of the Year Maaliya Owens was the high scorer in the game, finishing with 20 points for Tennessee Tech (5-7, 0-1). Owens shot 5 of 13 from the floor and 4 of 8 from three-point range. Yaubryon Chambers scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

  photo  Oklahoma forward Jalon Moore dunks against Central Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma forward John Hugley IV, left, drives past past Central Arkanasa forward Caleb Carr during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma guard Otega Oweh, right, shoots past Central Arkansas forward Ubongabasi "Glory" Etim during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma guard Otega Oweh shoots against Central Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma forward John Hugley IV, left, shoots against Central Arkansas forward Ubongabasi Etim during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma forward Jalon Moore (14) shoots over Central Arkansas forward Tucker Anderson (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 
  photo  Oklahoma guard Milos Uzan (12) shoots the over Central Arkansas forward Ubongabasi Etim (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)
 
 


Upcoming Events