Hield hits all 7 3s, No. 19 Oklahoma beats SE La
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield had made it a goal this season to be more aggressive in going to the basket. But, he said, ''You can't turn down a wide-open shot.''
That's especially the case for someone making every shot.
Hield hit all seven of his 3-point tries and scored 25 points as the No. 19 Sooners coasted in their season opener, beating Southeastern Louisiana 78-53 on Sunday.
Hield's first 3 came during a 16-0 run to begin the game and he maintained his sharp shooting hand while setting a career single-game high for 3s.
The senior guard, who led Oklahoma with 90 3-pointers last season, set the school record for shooting percentage on 3s in a game. Michael Johnson (vs. Kansas State on Jan. 23, 1999) and Terry Evans (vs. UNLV on Jan. 9, 1989) shared the previous record of 6 of 6.
Hield tied the Big 12 Conference record set last season by Dusty Hannahs of Texas Tech, who went 7 of 7 at West Virginia.
''It was great to see Buddy get in rhythm,'' Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said.
''The guys did a good job of getting him the ball in rhythm. He got a couple in transition, he got a couple off the dribble, he got a couple from Isaiah (Cousins) and Jordan (Woodard), so he got them a lot of different ways. ... It was good to see that in the first game.''
Cousins added 14 points and 10 rebounds while Ryan Spangler had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma (1-0).
Andrew Guillory led Southeastern Louisiana (0-2) with 16 points. The Lions didn't score until their 14th possession, when Bret Barclay hit a pair of free throws.
The Lions missed their first 14 shots before Onochie Ochie scored with 11:47 left in the half. Ochie finished with 10 points.
Southeastern Louisiana coach Jay Ladner, in his first season at the Southland Conference school, said the Lions suited up just six scholarship players.
''We're playing a lot of walk-ons,'' Ladner said. ''We did some of the same things that got us in trouble the other night at Oklahoma State - poor execution, a lack of chemistry. Most of our players are new to each other. It's just a growth process for us right now.''
After two straight NCAA tournament appearances, expectations at Oklahoma are the highest they've been since Blake Griffin and the Sooners made the round of eight in the 2009 NCAA tournament.
With four returning starters off a team that finished 23-10 and was second in the Big 12, Oklahoma was ranked in the preseason AP poll for the first time in five years.
The Sooners ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in scoring last season at 81.9 points per game, reaching at least 80 points 18 times. They almost did so Sunday despite shooting 39 percent from the field.
Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions, like many low-major programs, play on the road a lot at the start of the season. Nine of their first 10 games will be away from home, with only Tennessee Tech (on Nov. 26) making the trip to Hammond, Louisiana. The Lions' only other nonconference regular-season home game will be Dec. 19 against Winthrop.
Oklahoma: Late Saturday, Oklahoma announced the NCAA had approved a waiver request that grants transfer forward TaShawn Thomas immediate eligibility after he played his first three seasons at Houston. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Thomas was a second-team all-American Athletic Conference selection last season as a junior, averaging 15.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game while shooting 59.1 percent. He started Sunday and scored four points on 2-of-6 shooting.
Southeastern Louisiana will visit Western Illinois on Saturday.
Oklahoma plays at Creighton on Wednesday.
Oklahoma is 28-2 in its last 30 season openers and has won 12 in row since falling to Alabama to start the 2002-03 season. The Sooners have won 22 straight home openers and 35 of their last 36, losing only to Massachusetts at the start of the 1993-94 home campaign. . Southeastern Louisiana dropped its first two games against Big 12 foes Oklahoma State and Oklahoma by a combined 53 points.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Ladner on Hield: ''He got here real early (before the game) and he was already on the floor. He's out there early and he's got a process. He wasn't out there doing what I just call casual shooting. He was out there working with a purpose. You could watch how smooth he was - a nice, compact stroke. . I was impressed with that. He obviously has a beautiful shooting touch and certainly has a chance to be a good professional player.''