December 16, 2018 / 4:43 AM / in a month

Oklahoma knocks off USC 81-70, wins fifth straight

Miles Reynolds scored a season-high 20 points to lead Oklahoma to its fifth consecutive victory with an 81-70 decision over USC at Tulsa’s BOK Center.

Sooners senior Christian James notched a 16-point, 14-rebound performance, giving him three consecutive double-doubles. James had just two double-digit rebounding games in his career before this month and no double-doubles during his Sooners’ career.

Brady Manek added 15 points for the Sooners (9-1).

Nick Rakocevic led the Trojans with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

USC has dropped three consecutive games and will need at least one more contest to give Andy Enfield his 100th win as the Trojans’ head coach.

The Trojans cut what had been a big Oklahoma lead to just four about six minutes into the second half with a 15-7 run.

USC had a chance to pull within one but Shaqquan Aaron’s corner 3-pointer missed the mark and the Sooners finished on the other end with a Reynolds layup to give Oklahoma a bit of breathing room.

Two minutes after the Trojans had pulled back within striking distance, the Sooners once again led by double figures.

Oklahoma built a lead as big as 15 points in the first half, thanks to a smothering defense that made it difficult for USC to find much room to work.

The Sooners forced 10 Trojans turnovers and held USC to just 30.6 percent in the first half.

It was a rough first half for USC’s Bennie Boatwright, who missed all six of his first-half shots and turned the ball over three times.

Oklahoma outscored USC 44-28 in the paint.

The Trojans got a scare in the not long before the midway point of the first half when Elijah Weaver went down after landing awkwardly on his ankle as he finished off a shot. Weaver went back to the locker room but was back on the floor less than five minutes later.

Sooners big-man Jamuni McNeace saw his first action in more than two weeks after suffering a sprained right ankle that kept him out of the last two games. McNeace didn’t start but was the first player off the bench for Oklahoma.

—Field Level Media

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