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Blair Moves Into 11th All-Time On The Big South Career Scoring List As Flames Fall To Oklahoma In Season Opener
The Flames jumped out quickly defensively as Rell Porter striped Longar Longar to open the game, but missed the fast break lay-up. Blair tried to tip the rebound in but the basket was negated because the ball was still on the rim. Oklahoma then jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead over the Flames on back-to-back lay ups by Longar.
Liberty then cut the lead to 4-3 with17:37 left in the first period when Blair got fouled on a lay up making the basket and the ensuing free throw. The Sooners and Flames traded baskets on the next two possessions as Tony Crocker got past the Flames defenders for an open dunk. Damien Hubbard then hit a 12-footer from the corner to cut the Sooners lead to 6-5 with 16:28 left in the period.
After the Sooners extended the lead to 8-5 on an Austin Johnson lay-up with 14:59 left in the half, the two teams traded misses until Hubbard hit a 3-point basket with one second left on the shot clock to tie the game up at 8-8 with 13:21 left in the period.
Crocker then tipped in a fourth chance rebound for the Sooners giving OU the 10-8 lead at the 11:59 mark in the first half. Then there was no scoring until 8:48 in the half when Crocker scored back-to-back baskets, one on a Longar pass to make it 12-8 and then he stole the ball on an Alex McLean turnover and scored on the fast break giving the Sooners the 14-8 advantage with 8:32 left in the period.
The Sooners then went on a 15-4 run to close out the half with a 29-12 advantage. After McLean took the ball hard to the glass against Longar with 17 seconds left for the Flames, Keith Clark tried a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, but missed as time expired.
Oklahoma started the second half on an 8-4 run capped by a pair of Taylor Griffin free throws with 16:12 left in the game, giving the Sooners a 37-16 lead. After a McLean dunk at 15:55 in the game cut the Sooners lead to 37-18, the two teams over the next two minutes battled as the Sooners held a 9-8 advantage increasing their lead to 46-26 with 12:13 left in the game.
The Sooners then continued on a 15-7 run that was capped on a lay-up by David Godbold with 7:56 in the game, giving OU the 61-33 lead. The Flames finished off the game on a 15-11 run, but it wasn't enough as Liberty fell 74-48.
Blair passed Anthony Walker on the Big South all-time scoring list to take over 11th place with 1,603 career points. Blair scored only three points in the first half on 1-of-10 shooting, but heated up in the second half going 7-of-13 including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. McLean scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his first game with the Flames.
Longar scored 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to lead the Sooners, while Crocker added 18 points and six rebounds to pace the victory.
Liberty lost its sixth straight season opener. The Flames made 4-of-23 shots and committed 12 of their 17 turnovers in the first half.
The Flames return home for six straight home games starting with Cincinnati Christian on Tuesday with the tip set for 7 p.m. at the Vines Center.