MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

OU

March 5, 2014

Clark leads OU over W. Virginia in home finale

NORMAN   — Cameron Clark made his last home game at Oklahoma a memorable one.

The senior had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the 23rd-ranked Sooners defeat West Virginia 72-62 on Wednesday night.

It was Clark’s highest-scoring game since Jan. 8. He received a standing ovation when he left with 30.9 seconds remaining.

“We got the win, so that’s all I was really focused on,” he said. “My teammates and coaches helped me go out there and just be aggressive. I’m just glad I could go out there and play well in my last home game, and got the win.”

Buddy Hield scored 12 of his 13 points in the second half and Je’lon Hornbeak added 11 points for the Sooners (22-8, 11-6 Big 12), who split the season series with the Mountaineers.

Hield hit four 3-pointers, his only baskets of the game, during a torrid stretch of 3 minutes, 38 seconds, to put the Sooners up 59-50 with six minutes to play, and Oklahoma cruised from there.

“All I need is one to go down, and I feel like I can make all of them afterwards,” Hield said. “That’s the confidence I have.”

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said the Mountaineers must have ignored the scouting report.

“I thought we knew who he was,” Huggins said. “Some of our guys must not have knew who he was.”

Juwan Staten scored 23 points, Devin Williams had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Gary Browne added 12 points for the Mountaineers.

Eron Harris, who averages 18 points for West Virginia (16-14, 8-9), finished with five on 2-for-9 shooting. Huggins said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger had a good game plan against him.

“They really crowded him, tried to keep him from catching it,” Huggins said. “They switched everything with him. Lon’s a good coach. And there’s 30 tapes out there, you know.”

Oklahoma outscored West Virginia 15-4 from the free-throw line. The Mountaineers missed their first six free throws before making a pair with four minutes remaining in the game.

Hield, Oklahoma’s leading scorer for the season, scored one point on 0-for-4 shooting in the first half.  

Staten scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the first eight minutes to give the Mountaineers a 12-10 lead. His first miss came on his sixth shot with about 10 minutes left in the first half.

West Virginia starters Harris and Nathan Adrien each committed two fouls in the first 10 minutes. Both went scoreless in the first half.

Jordan Woodard’s spinning pass to Ryan Spangler led to a dunk and gave Oklahoma a 23-20 lead.

Frank Booker drained a 3-pointer and Hornbeak made a layup to push the Sooners’ edge to 33-22.

Staten’s bucket in the closing seconds of the first half trimmed Oklahoma’s edge to 33-28 at the break. Staten made 8 of 15 shots and scored 16 points in the first half, but his teammates made just 5 of 20 and scored just 12 points. West Virginia did not attempt a free throw in the first half while Oklahoma made 6 of 9.

West Virginia controlled the tempo and shot better early in the second half. Harris made a 3-pointer for his first points to give West Virginia a 41-40 lead with just under 13 minutes to play.

Hield got hot, and the game was over.

“It wasn’t a night when it was real smooth, but they kept battling and kept plugging and figured out a way to win a ball game,” Kruger said. “In the Big 12, if you can do that, you feel pretty good.”

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