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Alcorn State’s gauntlet continues at Oklahoma

Heading into his team’s last nonconference game before beginning Big 12 play, Oklahoma coach Porter Moser says he is happy with the defensive progress his team has made recently.

“They’re building habits. They’re learning a lot of the little things that goes into it,” Moser said. “I think getting to know each other, you start communicating. When you’re more comfortable, you communicate better.

“When you’re not sure of where to go, what to do, what our coverages are, then you hesitate and your communication is a little late. I think our communication is more urgent.”

Going into Wednesday’s game against Alcorn State in Norman, Okla., the Sooners have held their last four opponents to a combined 38.1-percent shooting from the floor.

“It’s shared responsibility defensively. It’s not, ‘I got mine, I got mine.’ I think we’re more connected,” Moser said.

“And here’s the crazy thing,’ he added, “I think we’ve got a huge couple of steps to improve on. That’s how much I think we’re capable of. But that first five is really connected and playing together defensively. We’ve got to maintain it when we start subbing.”

The Sooners (9-2) have won back-to-back games by an average of 21 points, responding well since their second loss of the season, Dec. 7 vs. Butler.

Acorn State (1-10), have struggled offensively all season, shooting just 37.8 percent from the floor, one of the worst marks in Division I.

The Braves have dropped five consecutive games and have yet to play a home game this season. They won’t play at home until Jan. 15.

“The kids have handled it well but it’s always difficult on the road, especially when you’re (1-10),” Alcorn State coach Landon Bussie said.

Wednesday’s game will be the fifth nonconference game the Braves have played against a team that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

Alcorn State has lost the previous four — three against 2021 Final Four teams — by an average of more than 27 points.

When the Braves lost at Gonzaga 84-57 and Baylor 94-57, they were defeated by the No. 1 team in the country, and Houston was No. 14 when administered a 77-45 rout.

Their only victory came Nov. 28 at Milwaukee, 61-57.

–Field Level Media