Cameron Clark scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helping propel Oklahoma to a convincing 81-66 victory over George Mason on Sunday in its first trip to the BB&T Classic.
Dominating work on the boards paved the way for the Sooners, who out-rebounded the Patriots, 51-29. Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler scored 13 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds. Buddy Hield added 12 points and 10 boards. Oklahoma made only 1 of 12 attempts from beyond the arc, but compensated with 48.3 percent shooting overall and overwhelming edges on points in the paint, 50-20, and on fast-breaks, 12-0.
Oklahoma (8-1) led all the way, getting little resistance from George Mason (5-4) which was led by Bryon Allen, who had 15 points. Guarded tightly by the 6-foot-7 Clark, Patriots' guard Sherrod Wright hit just 2 of 9 shots, scoring seven points, 10 below his team-leading average.
Playing a half-hour from its Fairfax, Va. campus, George Mason figured to have a home-court advantage. But on a dreary, snowy, cold day in Washington, the game was played in front of a sparse, listless crowd. Oklahoma was sharp from the start, however, scoring on its first four possessions -- two mid-range jumpers by Clark and two layups by Spangler -- to take a lead that it never relinquished.
After trailing by as many as 14 in the first half, George Mason showed life at the start of the second half as senior forward Johnny Williams scored on a reverse layup. The Patriots held the Sooners without a point for nearly four minutes, but couldn't take advantage on the offensive end. George Mason trailed 38-31 when Spangler blocked a shot, grabbed the loose ball and threw an outlet pass to Clark for a breakaway dunk that ignited a 10-point run.
In the spurt, Clark added two free throws and a tip-in. Je'lon Hornbeak followed with a baseline runner in transition and Hield had a fast-break dunk as Oklahoma took a 48-31 lead with 14 minutes left.
When George Mason momentarily disrupted Oklahoma's rhythm with full-court pressure and cut the lead to 12 midway through the half, Clark had the answer again, hitting a mid-range jumper and two free throws. Freshman Jordan Woodard followed with the Sooners' lone 3-pointer of the game as the lead swelled to 62-43.