NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Javian McCollum scored 23 points and Otega Oweh added 16 as No. 12 Oklahoma bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 88-72 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday night.

Sam Godwin scored 14 points and Jalon Moore had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Sooners (11-1), who were back in action for the first time since losing 81-69 to then-No. 11 North Carolina on Dec. 20.

Oklahoma played its worst game of the season against the Tar Heels after climbing to No. 7 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, shooting a season-low 40.4% and committing a season-high 18 turnovers.

The Sooners missed five of their first seven shots against Central Arkansas (3-11) and trailed 12-8 after five minutes. But OU found its shooting touch after that and led 50-42 at halftime on the strength of 18 points by McCollum, who made 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc.

“There’s always Christmas slough,” said Oklahoma coach Porter Moser, referring to the extended layoff between games. “You go home, there’s fuzzy stockings and goodies ... everything’s nice.

“It was short turnaround playing the 28th ... but in hindsight, you get growth in life through struggle. The fact that we struggled a little bit tonight is only going to help us with teaching moments the next 48 hours.”

Oklahoma went on a 15-2 run to extend the lead to 71-55 with 11 minutes left. The Bears rallied by scoring the next 11 points and closing within 71-66.

The Sooners tightened their defense and closed out the game on a 17-6 run. Oklahoma shot 52% from the field and made 10 of 22 3-pointers (45%).

“I thought our guys really responded in the second half defensively,” Moser said. “That’s where I thought we had a big jump.”

Oklahoma, which forced 20 turnovers, got eight points in the second half from senior Le’Tre Darthard, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his college career.

“I just try to help my team out in any way I can,” said Darthard, a transfer from Utah Valley. “If that’s making shots or getting stops that’s what I try to do.”

Johannes Kirsipuu scored 16 points to lead four players in double figures for Central Arkansas, which shot 47% from the field.

Before the game, OU held a moment of silence for former two-sport star Ryan Minor. Players wore shooting shirts with Minor’s name and No. 12 on the back during warmups.

The 49-year-old Minor died of cancer on Dec. 22. He pitched and played first base and helped the Sooners win a national title in baseball in 1994 and was named Big Eight Player of the Year in 1995 on the basketball court.


Central Arkansas: Plays Missouri on Saturday in Columbia.

Oklahoma: Hosts Monmouth on Sunday.


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