Omaha, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - The 18th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners play their first official road game of the season on Wednesday night, as they challenge the Creighton Bluejays at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Oklahoma beat up on visiting Southeastern Louisiana in its season opener on Sunday, 78-53, running its record in the last 30 lid lifters to an impressive 28-2. The Sooners, who with four returning starters from a team that went 23-10 and finished second in the Big 12 Conference in 2013-14, are ranked in the preseason AP poll for the first time in five years.
Creighton isn't the same team it's been the past few years when Doug McDermott was lighting up the scoreboard with reckless abandon, but the teams isn't totally devoid of talent. A pair of overmatched opponents found that out first-hand over the last several days, as Central Arkansas (104-77) and Chicago State (84-66) fell hard to the hometown Bluejays to open the campaign. Creighton will play its first five games in Omaha, before flying the coop for four in a row.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Creighton, 2-1, and this is the first meeting since the Sooners claimed a 106-89 victory in Oklahoma City on December 26, 1986.
Buddy Hield hit all seven of his 3-point attempts (a new school and Big 12 record) and scored 25 points to power Oklahoma to its 25-point win over Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. The Sooners, who opened the contest on a 16-0 run, got a pair of double-doubles from Isaiah Cousins (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Ryan Spangler (11 points, 11 rebounds), but they shot just 38.7 percent from the field, which was actually worse than they shot from beyond the arc (.429). The Lions, who were guilty of 20 turnovers in the game, put forth a futile effort to begin with, missing their first 14 shots before finally getting on the scoreboard with under 12 minutes to go in the first half. With both teams missing shots like crazy, a total of 96 rebounds were gathered.
Will Artino logged career-highs with 20 points and five steals to help lead Creighton to its recent win over Chicago State. Additional firepower was provided by reserve Isaiah Zierden who scored 18 points, and redshirt freshman Toby Hegner who finished with a line of 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Devin Brooks paced Creighton's rebounding effort with a career-high 10 boards, and he also dished out six assists. Both teams were rather careless with the basketball, with CSU turning it over 20 times and CU 17. The Bluejays outscored the Cougars at the foul line, 22-6. A total of six players hit for double figures in the opener against Central Arkansas, with Artino credited with a double-double consisting of 14 points and 10 boards. Rick Kreklow led the 'Jays with 18 points.