3:05 PM ET, March 20, 2003
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
No matter. The top-seeded Sooners still had more than enough for South Carolina State, rolling to a 71-54 victory Thursday in the first round of the East Regional. Price, the Big 12 player of the year, played just 11 minutes because of a left groin injury and spent most of the afternoon with a hot compress on his upper thigh. "I'm feeling better, although I wasn't as quick as I am usually," Price said. "I think if coach would have had to play me more, then I would have had to play. But today he really didn't need me much." Price, who got hurt in the closing seconds of the Big 12 tournament title game Sunday, has another day to rest before Oklahoma (25-6) plays eighth-seeded California on Saturday. Cal (22-8) beat North Carolina State 76-74 in overtime. "Hopefully I could be 80 percent by Saturday," Price said. "I'm going to get a lot of treatment today and tomorrow and it's up in the air from there." Trainer Alex Brown said he expects Price to be "a lot better" by Saturday. "We have 48 hours," Brown said. "These kids heal quickly. He could have played if he had to. He would have played if he had to. He just didn't have to."
Oklahoma's Ebi Ere scored nine points in Thursday's game.
|Dick Vitale: Oklahoma and South Carolina State was an M&Mer. The big story in this game was that Hollis Price only played 11 minutes. The status of his groin injury is a question mark. And let me tell you, he'll have to be on his A game and healthy for Oklahoma to advance in the next round. Yes, Ebi Ere shot 2 for 14 and the second half of the season has been a struggle for Ere who lost the starting job to DeAngelo Alexander. In the next matchup, Oklahoma meets up with California, who has physical toughness on the inside. Kelvin Sampson's team is going to have a big time performance on the baseline from players like Kevin Bookout, Jabahri Brown and Co. to negate some of the strength of the Golden Bears.|
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|» Mar 20, 2003||@OKLA 71, SCST 54||Recap|