MOORE — Mercer coach Bob Hoffman thought his team played fast. Averaging close to 90 points a game, they usually ran opponents to the ground.
However, when the Bears faced Oklahoma Monday, they encountered a squad that they could not keep up with.
The Sooners defeated the Bears 96-82 at Lloyd Noble Center.
“That was a serious butt-whooping from the beginning against a really good team,” Hoffman said. “It was amazing watching them on tape. They make shots. It’s not real complicated.”
Led by Bobby Hield, all five Oklahoma starters scored in double figures. The sophomore guard waited until the second half to heat up as he scored 14 of his 20 points after halftime. But once he got going, Oklahoma was able to run away from Mercer with ease.
Hield shot 6-for-11 from the floor to pace the Sooners (6-1). Ryan Spangler added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Cameron Clark scored 19 points before leaving the game late in the second half with a headache.
“It’s good and it is great for the team,” Hield said. “Everybody is unselfish and we make plays for each other. We are just trying to stay consistent on the basketball court.”
Monty Brown led the Bears (5-4) with 16 points. Sophomore Phillip Leonard came off the bench to post 12 points in the defeat.
“We weren’t hitting too many shots” Leonard said. “Defensively we weren’t as good as we usually are. But we battled and played hard.”
Defense was not at a premium for either team to start the night. Mercer and Oklahoma were off and running from the opening whistle and rarely let the shot clock get under the 20 second mark before hoisting up a shot.
However, it was the Sooners who were more adept at playing this style as they jumped out to a 30-17 lead halfway through the first half. That included Clark making a fade away 3-pointer as he was being fouled.