Groves, Oklahoma beat Northwestern State 77-59

NCAA Men

NORMAN, Okla. (AP)Tanner Groves had 15 points and nine rebounds in his first game for Oklahoma, Jalen Hill scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half and the Sooners beat Northwestern State 77-59 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Porter Moser, who came in from Loyola-Chicago to replace retired coach Lon Kruger, won his debut for Oklahoma.

The Sooners’ top three scorers from last season have moved on but Groves – a transfer from midmajor Eastern Washington – paced them with nine first-half points before Hill, Umoja Gibson and freshman CJ Noland led Oklahoma’s offensive explosion in the second half.

Hill scored six points and Gibson and Noland each hit a 3-pointer in a 15-1 run that gave the Sooners a 43-28 lead with 15:25 to play. Gibson and Groves each made a layup and a 3-pointer in a 10-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 21 points about five minutes later.

Gibson scored eight of his 13 points, and Noland seven of his nine, in the second half.

Kendal Coleman led Northwestern State with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Larry Owens scored 10 points.

Oklahoma shot 20 of 31 (64.5%) from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range, as it scored 49 second-half points.

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