Oklahoma Sooners vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 30th 2023

With six wins in as many games, No. 25 Oklahoma is off to its best start since the 2015-16 club began its season with a 12-0 record.

The Sooners will look to continue their good fortune on Thursday when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Norman, Okla.

The Sooners (6-0) earned the spot in the AP Top 25 poll by defeating both Iowa and Southern California in the Rady Children’s Invitational last week.

Oklahoma sophomore guard Otega Oweh tipped in the game-winning basket with 1.4 seconds remaining in Oklahoma’s 72-70 win over the Trojans on Friday.

Oweh has seen an increase in playing time and production in his second year at Oklahoma. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging a team-leading 15.0 points to go along with 4.8 rebounds.

Oweh’s ability to rebound from the guard position was on full display in the last play of the game against USC.

“It was a tie game at the end so we had to crash. We were just playing to the end, that’s all,” Oweh said. “I saw the guy turn his back, I just crashed, was wide open and went for it.”

Sooners coach Porter Moser has given Oweh an expanded amount of responsibility by starting him in all six games this season.

“I love how Otega got bottled up on one possession and then fouled, and then he came back and made that play,” Moser said. “He came out of nowhere and made a great athletic play.”

Joining Oweh in leading the Sooners to an undefeated start are transfers Javian McCollum and John Hugley IV.

McCollum, averaging 13.3 points per game, transferred to Oklahoma from Siena, where he led the Saints in scoring at 15.9 per game.

Hugley is a transfer from Pittsburgh and was an honorable mention for the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team as a sophomore in 2021-22. He is third on the Sooners in scoring at 11.5 points per contest and leads the team in field goal percentage (72.7).

“John is something different. He’s a weapon,” Moser said about Hugley. “He really carves out space. He’s got great hands and a good passing touch.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-4) will be playing its fifth road game this season on Thursday, but that’s nothing new for head coach Solomon Bozeman.

Last season, the Golden Lions played 11 of their first 15 games on the road, including six matchups against power-conference opponents. Thursday will be the third time the Golden Lions face a high-major team.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff picked up a win in its most recent game on Monday, beating NAIA-member Arkansas Baptist, 85-60.

The Golden Lions’ leading scorer on the season, Kylen Milton, poured in 25 points in Monday’s win.

“Kylen Milton is playing at a high level,” Bozeman said. “He’s not forcing it. He’s letting the game come to him.”

Milton is averaging 20.9 points per game, followed by Rashad Williams (18.1).

Thursday is the Golden Lions’ first of three consecutive matchups against ranked opponents. They will tip off against No. 11 Gonzaga on Tuesday and No. 4 UConn on Dec. 9.

–Field Level Media