Tulsa, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - TaShawn Thomas poured in a season-best 25 points as 16th-ranked Oklahoma cruised to an 87-68 victory over in-state foe Tulsa at the Reynolds Center.
Thomas went 9-of-12 from the floor and Isaiah Cousins knocked down five 3- pointers in a 21-point effort for the Sooners. Cousins added eight rebounds to help Oklahoma (6-2) easily handle a struggling Tulsa team coming off a home loss to Division II Southeast Oklahoma State.
"I thought our guys, from start to finish, were pretty solid on both ends of the floor," said Sooners coach Lon Kruger. "They were a little sloppy, a little careless with the ball in the first half but really handled it well in the second half. ... Offensively, I thought we had really good flow in the second half."
Shaquille Harrison was one of the Golden Hurricanes' few bright spots, finishing with 21 points and five assists. Rashad Ray tallied 11 points off the bench for Tulsa (5-5).
"We're struggling with our confidence," said Tulsa coach Frank Haith. "The chemistry with our bigs and our perimeter guys, we're having a tough time with that. Against a really good team we needed to have more out of our front line and we weren't able to get that."
Thomas was a force right from the start, recording eight of his 16 first-half points during a 13-4 game-opening run by the Sooners, who never trailed in the period while building a lead as large as 13 points.
Five straight Tulsa points, the last three on a layup and free throw from Brandon Swannegan, brought the Golden Hurricane within 20-18 with under nine minutes to go in the frame. However, Oklahoma countered with a 9-0 spurt, during which Cousins and Buddy Hield each canned 3-pointers, to quickly regain some separation.
Tulsa managed to whittle the deficit down to 30-25 later in the half, but the Sooners scored the next seven points and eventually carried a 43-32 advantage into the break.
Oklahoma kept its foot on the gas after the intermission, with Hield and Cousins both burying threes during an 8-0 flurry that pushed the lead to 55-36 just three minutes into the second half. Tulsa scored the next five points, but the Sooners answered with an 11-2 push that all but put the game out of reach.
Thomas had four points during the burst, which Frank Booker capped with a layup to put Oklahoma up 64-43 with under 13 minutes to go. The Sooners led by at least 16 points the rest of the way.
The game featured a matchup between Oklahoma point guard Jordan Woodard and his older brother James, a guard for the Golden Hurricane. Jordan had a game- high nine assists, while James went just 3-for-13 from the field for nine points ... Oklahoma has won eight straight and 14 of the last 15 meetings between the schools, who squared off for the first time in Tulsa since 2008 ... Haith beat Oklahoma twice during the 2011-12 season while then at Missouri in the Tigers' final campaign in the Big 12.