Jalen Hill and Tanner Groves scored 15 points each as Oklahoma opened its season with a 77-59 home win over Northwestern State on Tuesday night.
The game was Porter Moser’s first as coach of the Sooners after 10 seasons at Loyola-Chicago. Moser replaced Lon Kruger, who retired following last season after a decade coaching Oklahoma.
Hill scored 12 of his points after halftime, going 5 of 5 from the field and fueling a run early in the second half that helped the Sooners take control.
Hill was one of the few players remaining from last year’s Sooners team, with the roster undergoing a major overhaul when Moser was brought aboard.
Groves was one of the biggest pieces to Moser’s roster overhaul and one of the first additions after the coach’s hire, when he decided to transfer from Eastern Washington.
Groves was 6 of 9 from the floor with nine rebounds.
The Sooners shot 55.2 percent from the floor, including 20 of 31 in the second half.
Freshman Kendal Coleman led the Demons with 19 points, going 9 of 12 from the floor.
Northwestern State was just 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.
The Demons kept the game close for much of the first half, as the Sooners struggled to gain separation, even with Northwestern State missing 12 consecutive shots over a span that lasted more than seven minutes.
The Demons cut the deficit to just three by halftime, thanks to a 9-3 run over the final 4:57 of the half. Oklahoma was just 1 for 5 from the field in that stretch while Northwestern State made 6 of 10 to close the half.
Northwestern State cut the lead to one early in the second half before the Sooners finally got going, as Hill scored six during a 10-0 run to stretch the lead into double figures for the first time.
Oklahoma steadily stretched the lead throughout the second half, leading by as many as 26.
After turning the ball over eight times in the first half, the Sooners had just three after the break.
Oklahoma outscored Northwestern State 20-5 on the fast break.
–Field Level Media
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