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NORMAN, Okla. – Bobby Hield waited to the second half to heat up. But once the sophomore guard did, Oklahoma was able to run away from Mercer en route to a 96-82 victory Monday at Lloyd Noble Center.
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.
Monty Brown led the Bears (5-4) with 16 points. Sophomore Phillip Leonard came off the bench to post 12 points in the defeat.
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.
Clark has been shooting the ball well from the perimeter consistently throughout the early part of the season. It continued against Mercer.
When Clark wasn't knocking down perimeter shots, Spangler was having his way in the paint. He had six rebounds in the first half, which led to 13 points for the sophomore.
With their outside shooting failing them, the Bears had a difficult time manufacturing points and Oklahoma led 45-32 at half.
Led by Hield, the Sooners began the second half on an 18-0 run. He scored 11 points during a four minute span to catch the Bears off guard.
Leonard came in to provide a slight spark for the Bears. The sophomore found his shot from the outside and forced himself into the lane, where he was able to pick up fouls on the Sooners..
However, Mercer's offense was shut down in all other areas. They finished the contest with only eight 3-pointers and shot 43.5 percent from the field
Mercer entered the game allowing only 73 points per game and holding opponents to 48 percent shooting. Oklahoma shot 30-for-59 on the night.