Juwan Gary scored a season-high 17 points as Nebraska used an important run in the second half and a strong defensive effort in the final 20 minutes to defeat Arkansas Pine-Bluff 82-58 on Sunday afternoon at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Gary hit 5-of-9 shots from the field and added seven rebounds and three steals to run four Huskers in double figures. He led the way for a Nebraska team that shot 53.7 percent from the field, including 7-for-19 from three-point range and forcing 18 turnovers.
Blaise Keita recorded his first career double-double for the Big Red with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He came alive in the second half, scoring 11 points and recording seven rebounds as Nebraska used a 31-6 run to take control after trailing by an impressive eight points. C. J. Wilcher also achieved 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a 3-of-3 mark of 3-point range, while Wilhelm Breidenbach had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
After Arkansas Pine-Bluff jumped to a 44-36 lead early in the second half, Nebraska used an 8-0 run to tie on 44 with 15:49 left. UAPB regained the lead at 47-44 on a 3-pointer from Shaun Doss Jr. moments later before the Huskers began the run with six consecutive points as part of a 31–6 spurt over the next 12 minutes to build a 24-point cushion.
UAPB (1-6) shot 48 percent from the floor, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range, in the first 20 minutes, but shot only 32 percent in the second half and was outscored 23-7 after halftime.
Looking at Oklahoma
The Sooners returned a pair of starters and six letter winners from a team that went 19-16 and reached the second round of the 2022 NIT. Head Coach Porter Moser, who played collegiately with Creighton and began his coaching career with the Bluejay staff, is in his second season with Oklahoma after previous stops at Arkansas-Little Rock, Illinois State and Loyola-Chicago. Moser led Loyola-Chicago to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in his 10 years at the school, including a Final Four in 2018 and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2021. Moser’s staff includes Doc Sadler, who coached from 2006-12 in Nebraska as head coach and was on Fred Hoiberg‘s staff from 2019-22, and Clayton Custer, who played for Hoiberg at Iowa State in 2014-2015.
This season, the Sooners are 3-1 with three of their games decided by eight points or less. After dropping the opener to Sam Houston State, OU has racked up three straight wins, including a 64-60 victory over South Alabama on Friday night. Nevada transfer Grant Sherfield leads the Sooners with 15.5 points and 4.8 assists per game, while Tanner Groves averages a double-double with 10.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. The Sooners have seven players averaging at least 5.0 points per game.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 104-83 which began on January 31, 1921. Thursday’s game marks the first non-conference meeting between the two programs. The schools have met in other neutral locations, including Kansas City (several times) and Dallas (2004, 2006) for holiday tournaments and post-season play. The Oklahoma matchup is one of two Big 12 teams on the 2022-23 schedule, as NOW will face Kansas State on December 17 in Kansas City.