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OU Men's Basketball rolls past Sutherland in Australia

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Oklahoma men’s basketball rolled to a 129-51 victory in the second game of its foreign tour Wednesday, defeating the Sutherland Sharks in Sydney, Australia. Freshman guard Trae Young tallied 23 points, nine assists and five steals to lead the Sooners while junior guard Christian James shot 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 21 points.

After opening the foreign tour with a 133-91 win over New Zealand Select on Sunday, head coach Lon Kruger emphasized the Sooners’ need to improve focus on the defensive end. In Wednesday’s victory over Sutherland, Oklahoma held the Sharks to .303 shooting from the field and forced 31 turnovers.

“Better focus defensively for sure,” said Kruger. “In the first game the points were coming easily and our guys didn’t focus as much as they needed to on the defensive end. I think they gained a lot from that and did a much better job tonight.”

All 12 Sooners scored at least four points, including nine players with at least eight points. Freshman forward Brady Manek posted a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double and sophomore guard Kameron McGusty notched 15 points. Junior guard Rashard Odomes flirted with a triple-double, finishing with a balanced stat line of eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Oklahoma’s ball movement led to 38 team assists, nine of which came from sophomore guard Jordan Shepherd. The point guard is averaging 10.0 assists through two games on the foreign tour.

The Sooners were in control throughout the night, outscoring the Sharks, 60-25, in the opening half and 69-26 after halftime.

OU has a quick turnaround, playing its second game in Sydney on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. CT). The Sooners face an invitational squad of the Sydney Kings – a member of Australia’s top professional league (NBL). The game will feature a full commentated broadcast produced by the Australian Sports Network and will be streamed live for free on YouTube.

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