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Maine (5-4) at (5) Oklahoma (8-0)



Wednesday, December 10th, 8:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) -- Norman, Oklahoma. Television: Local. Home Record: Maine 2-1, Oklahoma 5-0. Away Record: Maine 2-2, Oklahoma 1-0. Neutral Record: Maine 1-1, Oklahoma 2-0. Conference Record: Maine 0-0, Oklahoma 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners will play host to the Maine Black Bears in what appears to be a lopsided non-conference matchup.

Oklahoma is a perfect 8-0 this season, and five of the victories have come in front of the home crowd. The team was most recently in action on Sunday when it cruised past Tulsa in a 69-44 final. With wins over Davidson, Purdue and USC by a grand total of 10 points, the Sooners have certainly proved that they are capable of beating formidable opponents in close games. They have answered their early tests, but many more await come the start of Big 12 Conference play.

Maine has been inconsistent so far this season, as it lost three straight games after opening the campaign with three consecutive victories. Fortunately, the Black Bears have won their last two to move to 5-3 overall, and the most recent triumph came by a 67-56 final over Colgate on Monday.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Maine and Oklahoma on the hardwood.

Mark Socoby is the leading scorer for Maine thus far, as he is netting 15.3 ppg to go along with 21 steals. Unfortunately, Socoby is shooting a lackluster 39.6 percent from the floor and needs to improve that mark. The only other double-digit scorer on the roster is Gerald McLemore with 12.6 ppg. While the Black Bears are generating 70.1 ppg, they are limiting opponents to 62.8 ppg on 39.8 percent shooting from the field. Socoby poured in 21 points in Monday's victory over Colgate, and Junior Bernal added 17 points and five assists off the bench. Sean McNally contributed 13 points, and McLemore pitched in 11 points. A 34-27 rebounding advantage and a 20-12 edge in points from the foul line certainly helped the cause for Maine.

Blake Griffin has been the best frontcourt player in college basketball so far this season, as the super sophomore is scoring 24.8 ppg on 67.3 percent shooting from the floor while also ripping down 16.3 rpg. Griffin's combination of size, strength and athleticism make him the most obvious candidate to be the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, if he decides to leave school early. Willie Warren checks in with 13.5 ppg, and the freshman has proven capable of taking some offensive pressure off the team's star. Taylor Griffin, the older brother of Blake, provides 11.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg. The Sooners are racking up 80.6 ppg while allowing 65.8 ppg to the opposition. In the 25-point victory over Tulsa on Sunday, Blake Griffin scored 19 points to go along with nine rebounds and three blocks. Warren posted 14 points and seven assists with zero turnovers, while Tony Crocker provided 12 points.

Expect Oklahoma to build a huge lead by intermission, giving the starters a chance to rest for much of the second half. The Sooners have Blake Griffin, so therefore they have a chance to win the national title.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 88, Maine 52

12/10 10:23:53 ET

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Scoreboard
MLB
Final
PIT 4
BOS 0
Final
BAL 8
TOR 2
Final
NYM 9
MIA 1
Final
TAM 6
NYY 1
Final
ATL 0
WAS 3
Final
CHC 7
CIN 0
Final
KAN 5
CWS 7
Final
HOU 2
CLE 4
Final
MIN 4
DET 3
Final
STL 2
MIL 3
Final
COL 10
LOS 4
Final
ARI 1
SFG 2
Final
ANA 2
SEA 13
Final
OAK 3
TEX 6
Final
SDP 5
PHI 4
3:10pm Today
COL
LOS
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
MIL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
PHI