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OU basketball: Sooners overcome 1st half struggles with strong 2nd, defeat Houston Baptist 57-40

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Elijah Harkless

Senior guard Elijah Harkless during the game against UTSA on Nov. 12.

Oklahoma (5-1) overcame a less than stellar first half to defeat Houston Baptist (1-4) 57-40 on Wednesday in Norman.

Senior guard Elijah Harkless played a key role in OU’s second half comeback, scoring 13 points with nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

The Sooners began the game with an awful offensive start, missing their first five shots and turning the ball over twice before junior Jacob Groves hit a short jumper to put OU on the board.

Oklahoma’s offense continued to play poorly, as its bad start lasted for the entire first half. The Sooners shot 31 percent from the field, 8.3 percent from 3 and committed eight turnovers, leading to a 27-22 halftime deficit.

Oklahoma looked as good in the second half as it did bad in the first half. The Huskies scored only two points in the first 10 minutes of the second half as the Sooners took command with a 22-2. OU continued to pile on, as Harkless put an exclamation mark on Oklahoma’s dominance with an ankle-breaking layup to extend the run to 29-4.

OU’s offense cooled off after Harkless’ fast break score and as head coach Porter Moser emptied the bench, but the defense held strong, limiting the Huskies to 13 second half points.

Oklahoma will head back to the east coast after Thanksgiving to take on UCF at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 27 in Orlando.

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