December 21, 2014

With only a pair of home tune-ups remaining before the start of its Big 12 schedule, Oklahoma is hoping to turn an unsuccessful rally in its latest defeat into a positive.

The 15th-ranked Sooners look to bounce back while remaining undefeated in Norman on Monday night as they take on a Weber State team seeking its first win over a ranked opponent in 14 years.

Oklahoma averaged 84.7 points and shot 52.4 percent while winning three consecutive routs, but failed to recover from an early slump in Saturday's 69-67 loss to No. 16 Washington in the MGM Grand Showcase.

The Sooners (7-3) shot 37.5 percent while falling behind by as many as 20 points in the first half, but turned things around to outscore the Huskies 40-29 in the final 20 minutes.

Jordan Woodard had a look at a potential winning jumper, but it rattled out and Washington secured the rebound.

"The last five minutes of the first half we turned the momentum a little bit and then played much better in the second half," coach Lon Kruger said. "There's a lot to be learned on both ends. Poor first 15 and better last 25."

Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins finished with 17 points apiece to lead the Sooners, who also lost at Creighton by two points and fell to then-No. 2 Wisconsin by 13 in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game.

Cousins has scored 16.8 per game on 60 percent shooting in his last four, hitting 12 of 19 from 3-point range. Hield has been at his best in four home contests with 18.5 points per game and 14-of-23 shooting from 3-point range.

The Sooners have won 108 of 112 at home versus non-conference opponents dating to January 2000. They're averaging 83.8 points and sinking 43.5 percent from long range during a 4-0 start there this season.

Kruger, however, feels his squad's defensive effort could be key as it tries to build another winning streak at home against Weber State and George Mason before Baylor visits to open conference play Jan. 3.

Oklahoma is limiting opponents to 37.4 percent shooting overall and 29.2 from beyond the arc after holding Washington to just three points in the final 4:01.

"We had some steals and created some offense from that," Kruger said. "On the offensive end we had a little bit more going downhill toward the rim and guys, I thought, made more plays as a result for each other and also shot it better."

Weber State (4-5) has shot 38.2 percent from the field over its last five games, but made a season-high 12 3-pointers in Saturday's 73-61 home win over Utah Valley that snapped a two-game losing streak.

Richaud Gittens had a career-high 21 points and hit 5 of 8 from long range, while Jeremy Senglin scored 16 to go along with eight rebounds.

"We started to get a little more rhythm offensively and made some moves in the right direction," coach Randy Rahe told the team's official website ahead of Weber State's first meeting with the Sooners.

The Wildcats have dropped their last six games versus ranked opponents since a win at Utah on Dec. 9, 2000.

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