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Updated: Saturday, December 7, 2002 11:55 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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Hartford (2-1) at No. 7 Oklahoma (3-1)
HARTFORD HAWKS
Hartford Hawks
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OKLAHOMA SOONERS
Oklahoma Sooners
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NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Seventh-ranked Oklahoma continues a six-game homestand Saturday when it welcomes Hartford of the Northeast Conference to the Lloyd Noble Center.

The Sooners (3-1) have won three in a row since dropping their opener against Alabama, but struggled somewhat in their last outing, a 75-63 victory over Prarie View a week ago.

Oklahoma used 13 points from Hollis Price - nine on 3-pointers - over the final 6 1/2 minutes to pull away from just a two-point lead. It was the 25th straight home win for the Sooners.

Guard Ebi Ere, Oklahoma's leading scorer (20.5) and rebounder (6.5), paced the Sooners with 16 points. Price is averaging 15.3 points, but is shooting just 43.2 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from 3-point range.

Oklahoma attempted 34 3-pointers against Prarie View, its high total since shooting a school-record 38 against Loyola Marymount on December 15, 1990, a span of 381 games. Starting guards Ere (0-7) and Quanna White (0-5) were a combined 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.

However, the Sooners doubled Prarie View on the boards (50-25) and grabbed 27 offensive rebounds, compared to just one for the Panthers. Jabahri Brown grabbed 13 rebounds, one shy of a career high.

Hartford (2-1) started 2-0 for the first time since the 1992-93 campaign before losing at Oklahoma State on Thursday, 65-52. The Hawks shot just 28 percent (17-of-60) in the loss.

Hartford is led by the frontcourt tamdem of Pierre Johnson (18.0 pgg) and Jerrel Parker (12.7). Johnson paced the Hawks against Oklahoma State with 14 points.

Hartford is showing improvement under third-year coach Larry Harrison. The Hawks were 14-18 and finished third in the NEC last season after going just 4-24 in Harrison's first season.

The teams are facing each other for the first time.


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