December 18, 2015

Oklahoma is the nation's best 3-point shooting team, and not many are more accurate overall than its next opponent.

The third-ranked Sooners seek to improve to 8-0 and stretch their home win streak to 13 games Saturday when they host one of the best shooting teams in the country in Creighton.

Oklahoma is off to its best start since the 2008-09 team began 12-0. The Sooners are shooting 48.7 percent on 3-pointers, including 57.3 in three games this month, after making a season-high 16 on 27 attempts in last Saturday's 96-73 win over Oral Roberts.

Reigning Big 12 player of the year Buddy Hield matched a season high with 30 points as he drained at least four 3-pointers for the fourth time and added a career-high five steals. Hield is averaging 22.1 points though he hasn't played enough games to qualify to rank among the nation's leaders.

"It felt good out there tonight, just tried to remain aggressive and let the game come to me," Hield said. "My teammates found me in good spots and I had confidence knocking down the shots or finishing with a drive."

Hield is 21 of 42 from 3-point range while Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard are both 17 of 31 (54.8 percent).

Oklahoma is increasingly looking like one of college basketball's best teams because of its experience. Hield, Cousins, Woodard and Ryan Spangler have started all of the Sooners' 75 games over the last three seasons.

"The strength of this group is that these guys, the leadership core, has been through a lot of battles and they know how it works," coach Lon Kruger said. "We don't have to provide them much. The next game is the only one that counts."

The next game is against the Bluejays (7-3), who enter the weekend ranked 11th in Division I in field-goal shooting at 50.6 percent. Oklahoma is limiting opponents to 34.0 percent to rank second.

Creighton has held its last two opponents to 20.5 percent from 3-point range, beating Nebraska and IUPUI by an average of 20.5 points.

Isaiah Zierden scored 17 points in each of those games after he made five 3-pointers in last Saturday's 90-65 rout of IUPUI. Zierden, however, has yet to prove he can find the range on the road, making 1 of 13 shots - 1 of 11 on 3-pointers - for four points in two defeats.

"I think we've learned from (the road losses) and I think we'll do a better job of focusing in and staying true to what we do at Creighton and then relish in the moment to play a Top-10 team like that," Zierden said.

The Bluejays have some injury concerns. Center Geoffrey Groselle has been bothered by an ankle injury, fellow starter Cole Huff has a shoulder problem and reserve big man Toby Hegner has missed practice this week with an ankle issue.

Oklahoma seeks revenge after its 65-63 road loss Nov. 19, 2014. Hield scored 24 points as the Sooners were held to 35.5 percent shooting. Zierden and Hegner are the only Bluejays on the roster who started in that contest.

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