Canada Tour Updates: Oklahoma, Creighton, More..

September 4th, 2007

OU Men's Hoops Team Closes Tour with 90-61 Victory

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - The Oklahoma men's basketball team didn't seem fazed by the fact it was playing its fourth game in 38 hours when it visited Douglas College Monday morning.  The Sooners stormed to a 27-6 lead through the first 10 minutes of play and wrapped up a 4-0 exhibition tour of Canada with a 90-61 win.

OU took it inside early and often against a Royals team that beat Boise State on Sunday night by a 109-100 score.  Center Longar Longar, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for one of two double-doubles (fellow senior David Godbold contributed 12 points and 10 boards), scored eight of OU's first 10 points. 

Forward Blake Griffin, meanwhile, supplied 20 points in 21 minutes off the bench.  The freshman was 9-for-12 from the field in leading the team in scoring for the third time.

The Sooners grabbed an 11-0 lead and kept the Royals scoreless for more than half of the first quarter.  Douglas' Billy McNutt finally put Douglas on the board with a basket 6:10 into the game.

"We got off to a great start and Longar was the main reason," said OU head coach Jeff Capel.. "I don't want to single out one guy, but Longar was tremendous.  He contributed in some fashion on each of our first five baskets.  The energy kept going from there.

"Our guys were really anxious to play this game because of what Douglas College did against Boise State last night.  That really got our players' attention.  Plus, Bol Kong had been averaging about 25 (points) a game for them coming in.  He's probably the best player on any of the four teams we faced."

The Sooners limited Kong, a wing who is considered an NBA prospect, to 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting.  Kong didn't score until 1:49 remained in the first half.

Said Capel, "I thought David Godbold and everyone else who took turns guarding Kong early did a great job of not letting him get any looks."

The majority of the looks on the other end of the court came from inside the paint.  Longar did almost all of his damage in the first half while Griffin was in foul trouble.  Longar, who like Kong is from Sudan, netted 15 of his 16 points before halftime.  Griffin was most effective late in the third quarter when he made four field goals in a span of 2:14.  He added six more points in the fourth quarter on an array of dunks.

"I just wanted to come out aggressive," said Longar in reference to his fast start.  "My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball down low.  Coach (Mark) Cline told me a couple of times to get into my move as soon as I caught the ball.  That's what I tried to do."

OU's guards were not without their own offensive moments.  Cade Davis, Godbold and Omar Leary nailed two 3-pointers each, as did forward Keith Clark.  Davis finished with 14 points while Leary finished with six points and three assists.

The Sooners shot .474 for the game while holding the Royals to a .290 figure.  OU also forced 20 turnoveres and outrebounded Douglas by a 46-35 margin.

Billy McNutt paced the Royals with 19 points and added nine rebounds.

Prior to departing for the border last week, OU head coach Jeff Capel said the trip to Canada would serve as a major benefit to his squad for reasons of extra practices, developing game experience and team chemistry, and having the ability to see his team on film.  So was there anything that surprised the second-year OU mentor?
"There were some things that I kind of knew (coming into the trip) that were confirmed (during the trip).  I knew the post guys were the strength of our team right now, and they were definitely that here in Canada.  I thought Omar Leary did some awfully good things here, even though not all of them will show up on the stat sheet.  I thought Cade Davis got some minutes that were invaluable -- the same goes for Tony Neysmith.  Obviously, Blake (Griffin) was very good in every single game.

"We feel good about where we are.  As far as who we are, that's still a work in progress.  We're missing two very key players for us right now (in Tony Crocker and Austin Johnson), and getting them back will only help us get better."

Creighton Basketball Concludes Canada Trip With 97-78 Win Over Calgary


CALGARY, Alberta – Kenny Lawson Jr. had 22 points in 19 minutes, leading the Creighton men's basketball team past host Calgary, 97-78, on Monday afternoon. The victory concluded the Bluejays five-game, three-day exhibition series in Calgary, the program's first voyage to Canada since 2003.


Creighton scored the first six points of the game and took its largest lead of the first quarter at 13-3 early. However, the Dinos would fight back with a strong second quarter. Cody Darrah had six points during an 8-0 run that gave UC a 29-25 lead. Calgary took its biggest lead of the game at 42-34 on a lay-in by Josh Lovestone with 3:43 left in the opening half, giving the home crowd dreams of a second consecutive upset after they witnessed Calgary’s win over Weber State on Sunday.


Creighton ended the final four minutes of the third quarter with a 14-2 run, breaking a 57-57 tie and taking the lead for good. The surge continued when CU started the fourth quarter with a 7-2 spurt, giving CU a commanding 78-61 lead that put the game away.


Lawson scored a team-high 22 points, making 10-of-13 shots from the field while adding six rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes of work. Dane Watts scored 18 points and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. Also in double-figures was Booker Woodfox with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 12 points from Nick Bahe. CU outrebounded Calgary 42-30 and outscored the Dinos 34-19 off the bench, including a 24-2 margin in the second half.


Calgary was paced by 24 points from Henry Bekkering, while Darrah added 17 on 5-of-6 shooting from downtown.

Creighton finished its five-game trip with a perfect 5-0 record while averaging 89.8 points per game. Watts paced the squad with 16.0 points per game, while Lawson also scored in double figures at 14.0 per contest. Lawson’s 6.8 rebounds per game edged Watts (6.4 rpg.) for the team lead on the glass, while Josh Dotzler topped the club with 19 assists and 14 steals. The Jays averaged 14.4 steals per contest while forcing an average of 27.6 turnovers per game. CU also outrebounded foes by 10.4 caroms per contest.

Saturday, Sept. 1
Creighton 87, Saskatchewan 82
Creighton 85, Calgary 77

Sunday, Sept. 2

Creighton 88, Lethbridge 49
Creighton 92, Saskatchewan 66

Monday, Sept. 3
Creighton 97, Calgary 78


Air Force 3-1 On Canada Road Trip


The Air Force men’s basketball team improved to 3-1 on its Canadian trip by splitting a pair of games Sunday in Vancouver, Canada. The Falcons dropped a 72-60 decision to the Vancouver All-Stars Sunday morning, then blew out the University of British Columbia, 97-67, Sunday evening.


Statistics were not available for the game against the Vancouver All-Stars. Senior Tim Anderson led five Falcons in double figures with 24 points against UBC. He added assists and six steals. Fellow senior Eric Kenzik added 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds for Air Force. Junior Anwar Johnson scored 15 points and senior Keith Maren and junior Matt Holland each added 13.


The Falcons turned a 37-31 halftime lead into a rout by outscoring UBC 60-36 in the final two quarters. Air Force shot 60.6 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range in the second half. AFA shot 53.3 percent from the field for the game and 48 percent (12-25) from long range.


Air Force wraps up its trip on Monday against UC-Fraser Valley at 10 a.m. (MT).


Oral Roberts 2-0 On Canadian Exhibition Tour

GUELPH, Ontario—Six players scored in double figures as Oral Roberts University rolled to a 104-55 win over the University of Guelph on Saturday. Curtis Allen scored a game-high 20 points for ORU, adding six rebounds and four steals. Robert Jarvis and Moses Ehambe each scored 17 points, while Jonathan Dunn had 14 points and seven rebounds. Andre Hardy scored 11 points, and Marchello Vealy just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. ORU shot 55.2 percent from the field, including 62.9 percent in the second half. The Golden Eagles, now 2-0 on their Canadian exhibition tour, out-rebounded the Gryphons 46-17 and forced 24 turnovers. Duncan Milne led Guelph with 14 points.



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