They do things differently at Oklahoma. The team’s radio announcer wears a tuxedo, complete with red bow tie. The shooting guard sings the national anthem before games. With a 50-point lead, when Los Angelenos would have long since hit the freeway, the fans here still work the referees. Hard.
But one thing never changes: The Sooners don’t lose at home, and Loyola Marymount did little to challenge that Saturday night in a 172-112 blowout before a crowd of 10,910.
For the 13th-ranked Sooners (8-1) it was the 51st consecutive victory in Lloyd Noble Center, and their 75th in a row against nonconference opponents. Nobody outside the Big Eight Conference has beaten the Sooners at home since Tulsa in December, 1982.
And the win raised Oklahoma Coach Billy Tubbs’ record to 98-0 in 100-point games.
The Sooner assault was led by their newest hotshot, junior guard Brent Price, who was freed from point guard duties Saturday and also wasn’t asked to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” (which he has done on occasion).
He did everything else.
The younger brother of NBA star Mark Price made 11 three-point baskets on the way to 56 points, joining Wayman Tisdale as the only Sooners to top 50. It was also a record performance for the Noble Center. Price made 20 of 33 shots, 19 from three-point range, and added nine assists.
“Price was so hot it didn’t seem to matter if he was on the court or off court, he was gonna make it,” Loyola’s Tom Peabody said. “He’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen.”
Oklahoma’s point total was the highest ever against Loyola, eclipsing the 152 scored by Northeastern three weeks ago.
In starting a trip against three Top 25 teams, the outmanned Lions (2-5) fell despite 41 points and seven assists by Terrell Lowery. They put up a fight for 10 minutes, but when Lowery went out for a breather the Sooners began to pull away.
They led, 79-55, at the half, when Price had already matched his 21-point average, and they put the game away with a barrage of steals and three-point baskets in the first five minutes of the second half.
Kermit Holmes had 34 points and 21 rebounds for the Sooners.
“Oklahoma played much better than I expected,” said frustrated Loyola Coach Jay Hillock. “We backed off on the press, but they had (momentum) and if we’d made a run at ‘em it would’ve been insignificant.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Lions, whose next game is at Louisiana State.