Sooners romp Rogers State in exhibition

Luke Lu | Iowa State AthleticsOklahoma’s Elijah Harkless passes the ball during the Sooners’ game against Iowa State last February in Ames, Iowa.The Sooners won Monday night’s exhibition game against Rogers State 106-57 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

NORMAN — The 3-point barrage from Oklahoma started almost immediately.

Just 1:07 had gone off the game clock before Umoja Gibson hit the Sooners’ first 3-pointer. By the halfway point of the first half, the Sooners had already made six threes.

They never really cooled off either, and it was the 3-point shooting that propelled the Sooners to begin the Porter Moser era on the right foot.

The Sooners’ coach finished his debut with a 106-57 win in an exhibition game over Rogers State Monday night in Norman.

The Sooners’ 3-point shooting was impressive for a number of reasons.

At halftime, the team had made 12-of-17 attempts en route to a 21-point halftime lead. Six different players had made at least one, led by a perfect 3-of-3 shooting by Jacob Groves.

But even as Roger State schemed to limit OU’s perimeter shots, the Sooners still worked to find open 3-pointers.

“We want to space it, we want to shoot it,” Moser said. “We’ve talked about that. I didn’t think we took very many bad 3s. Even the ones we missed — you saw me clapping on a bunch of misses.”

The team finished the game making 18-of-27 attempts from behind the arc as the team had three players make all of their 3-point attempts. Groves finished 6-of-6; Alston Mason made both of his attempts and Gibson went 4-of-4.

“He is who he is,” Moser said, referring to Groves. “He’s confident. It’s one of the things that drew us to him is his confident bounce. He’s worked on his shot, and he has such a high release.”

But it wasn’t just that the Sooners made their shots. They generated a lot of open looks, too.

The Sooners finished with 25 assists on 39 made baskets, which Moser pointed out after the game.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to do since we took over here. It’s been such a big part of what we did at our last stop — Spacing and ball movement,” Moser said. “... That’s been one of the biggest things is teaching them how to play with space. If the play breaks down, continue to play random offense with space. I was really pleased with the guys’ assists. Passing, skipping, moving, staying in space, ‘one more’s’. I thought the ball was popping.”

The defense kept Rogers State from making a run in the second half, and the Hillcats finished the game shooting 40% from the field and 30% from the field.

Groves led the team in scoring with 20 points, one assist and one rebound. Gibson had 19 points, and Elijah Harkless and C.J. Noland both had 13.

The Sooners ended the game shooting 70 percent overall from the floor.

“I hope we saved a couple [makes],” Moser joked.

Notes

• Starting lineup: For Monday’s game, Moser opted to start Jordan Goldwire, Gibson, Elijah Harkless, Jalen Hill and Tanner Groves.

• Ethan Chargois does it all: In his first minutes at OU, Chargois showed his ability to impact all areas of the game.

He played just 11 minutes and nearly had a triple-double, finishing with six points on 3-of-4 shooting, six rebounds and five assists. He also added a block.

• Jordan Goldwire debuts: The Duke transfer started at point guard for the Sooners on Monday.

The stats didn’t jump off the page, but he showed his potential: five points, two rebounds and four assists. He also snatched two steals.

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