e Cubs stand at the same point they did 13 years earlier against the Florida Marlins. But this time, Schuster, Clark, Baker, Zahradnik and elderly Cubs fans all across Chicago believe the outcome will be different. They have no choice. Their from LHX1990's blog

NORMAN, Okla. Lucas Biglia Jersey. -- With his Oklahoma Sooners looking listless and trailing upstart Abilene Christian at halftime on Friday, coach Lon Kruger switched two of his starters for the second half, looking for some sort of spark.Rashard Odomes, one of the benched starters, received the message. Once he exited the bench, he scored seven of his 13 points during a three-minute span midway through the second half, helping Oklahoma turn a two-point lead into a nine-point advantage -- a run that proved decisive in a 72-64 win.Jordan Woodard scored 16 points for Oklahoma (4-1), which had to rally from an early 10-point deficit. Oklahoma won for the 58th time in its last 60 nonconference home games, but the Sooners -- a Final Four team a season ago, albeit with only two returning starters -- struggled mightily against Abilene Christian (2-2), a Southland Conference program in its final year of transition from NCAA Division II into Division I.Abilene Christian was much the aggressor in the first half, Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. We came back with a little bit better energy in the second half, but not (with) the number of good possessions that we need to have in a ball game. Theres a lot to learn from that one. Credit to Abilene Christian for how well they played and how hard they played. Hopefully it got our attention a little bit.The Sooners overcame poor shooting from the field (36.4 percent) and the free-throw line (63 percent) and the smaller Wildcats outrebounded Oklahoma 42-40.The Wildcats were up 30-26 at halftime and were tied with Oklahoma as late as the 13-minute mark. But their top player, Jaylen Franklin, left the game with an apparent knee injury with 14:51 left after scoring 11 points and didnt return. The Wildcats proved unable to keep up with Oklahoma down the stretch in his absence.Abilene Christians propensity for fouling proved to be its undoing. The Wildcats committed 32 fouls and Oklahoma ended up shooting 46 free throws, making 29, while Abilene Christian went 9 of 19 from the line. The Wildcats outscored Oklahoma 55-43 from the field despite committing 22 turnovers.When you go through transition, you play a bunch of these games, Abilene Christian coach Joe Golding said. Obviously, were trying to turn the program where we can come in here and compete in these games. If we keep competing, well eventually get one.Abilene Christian wasnt expected to offer much resistance against the Sooners. Abilene Christian was coming off a home loss to Charleston Southern and the Wildcats win in their most recent road game, at New Hampshire on Nov. 17, had ended their 20-game nonconference road losing streak that dated to November 2011.Even so, the Wildcats overcame 16 fouls to lead at halftime, having trailed for all of 23 seconds to that point. They used a 7-1 run to build a 15-5 lead on a layup by Jaren Lewis at the 12:35 mark. Consecutive baskets by Franklin in the final 73 seconds of the half gave Abilene Christian its four-point halftime lead.A 3-pointer by Jovan Crnik gave the Wildcats their last lead at 33-32 with 18:28 left. Woodard answered with a 3-pointer for Oklahoma and with the score tied 39-39, he threw an inbound pass off the back of Abilene Christians Hayden Howell, grabbed the carom and laid the ball in the basket while being fouled. He hit the free throw with 12:46 left and the Sooners led the rest of the way.Odomes had two baskets and went 3 for 5 from the line during his second-half flurry and Darrion Strong-Moores 3-pointer put the Sooners up 54-45 with 7:53 left. With Abilene Christian within 64-59, Odomes drove the lane and dunked to start an 8-0 run that sealed the win for Oklahoma.Weve just got to get back in the lab, back in the gym, and get some reps in in practice and get things going again, Woodard said.Lewis finished with 12 rebounds and eight points for Abilene Christian, while Khadeem Lattin had nine points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma.BIG PICTURE:Abilene Christian: It can only get easier schedule-wise for the Wildcats, as Oklahoma was the only major-conference foe on their schedule. The rest of Abilene Christians nonconference slate will be against teams with which the Wildcats should be competitive, with one tough test at New Mexico next week.Oklahoma: After taking third in the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando, the Sooners showed they still have plenty of kinks to work out before facing tougher opponents like Wisconsin, Wichita State and Memphis.TIP-INS:Woodard, a senior point guard, jumped two spots to No. 25 on the Sooners career scoring list with his 16-point outing. Woodard, who now has 1,236 career points, passed former NBA player Garfield Heard and David Little. . Oklahoma is 3-0 all-time against Abilene Christian, having won by 24 points in December 1969 and 49 points in December 1982, a game in which Wayman Tisdale scored 51 points on a still-standing school-record 22 field goals.QUOTABLE:They had a big tournament trip . and they come back here and its tough to motivate them. We probably dont motivate them like some teams do. Im sure there was some waking up on (their part). But they woke up. Theyve got a good team. Theyre going to be really good down the road. You can tell the pieces are there for them. -- Golding on the Sooners performance against Abilene Christian.UP NEXT:Abilene Christian: Returns home for a game against Division III Howard Payne (Texas) on Sunday before a Wednesday road trip to another marquee foe, New Mexico.Oklahoma: Hosts Northern Colorado on Tuesday to prep for what figures to be a tough nonconference road game at Wisconsin on Dec. 3. Sergio Romero Jersey. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. Mariano Andujar Argentina Jersey. Duchene scored two goals and had an assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night to match the best 10-game start in team history. http://www.argentinasoccerauthentic.com/Federico-Fernandez-Copa-America-Jersey/. The Australian is competing in his final season in Formula One and still looking for his first win this year. He will look to end Vettels run of six straight race wins on Sunday. Webber, who is fifth in the championship, earned his second pole from the past three races and 13th of his career. WILLOWBROOK, Ill. -- With one out in the first inning of the National League Championship Series Game 5 on Thursday night, Gail Schuster shuffled to the end of her motorized wheelchair, sat up as straight as she possibly could and began yelling at the flat-screen television a few feet in front of her.Hurry up! Schuster beckoned. Oh hurry up! Please hurry up!Half a country away, Chicago Cubs leadoff man Dexter Fowler was attempting to score from first base on a double into the right-field corner by Anthony Rizzo. And the 75-year-old Schuster, confined to a wheelchair for more than a half-century due to a rare bone disease, couldnt watch quietly without begging Fowler home.Hurry! she kept repeating.As Fowler rounded third, a flip phone in the Cubs bag draped over the arm of Schusters wheelchair began to buzz. CALL FROM 2-0-7... Schuster ignored it, waiting until Fowler crossed the plate, Rizzo was safely at second and her beloved Cubs had a 1-0 first-inning lead to pick up.Hello? she said to a caller who probably should have known better. Im watching the game.It was a scene surely repeated in living rooms, hospital rooms and nursing homes around the country. Elderly Cubs fans, in the late innings of their lives, starting to believe what was once unthinkable: the Chicago Cubs playing in their first World Series since 1945.You always think its going to go the same way it always does -- they freeze up, Schuster said. A couple nights ago, thats what it looked like, very much timid and afraid. But now theyve come together.There were so many years they fell apart, I never thought it would happen, added David Baker, like Schuster a resident at Chateau Center in Chicagos southwest suburbs. But maybe this is the year.At 88 years old, Baker admits that his long-term memory is a far cry from what it once was, not entirely a bad thing for a lifelong Cubs fan. Baker says he doesnt remember the collapse of 69, the ground ball rolling through Leon Durhams legs in 1984 or the crushing Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS.Steve Bartman? Baker asks. I have no idea who that is.Schuster, on the other hand, remembers all the heartbreak. But she wouldnt have it any other way. The Cubs have always been there for her, so until the day she dies she will return the favor. A self-described die-hard, she has listened to or watched nearly every Cubs game since she was a teenager and health issues forced her to drop out of school in the seventh grade and confined her to a wheelchair at the age of 21. On her darkest, most depressed days, she would turn to Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams to lift her spirits.I fought that wheelchair the entire time. I didnt want it, she said. But every day I looked forward to the ballgame. My mom would get hot dogs, potato chips and a Coke and I would watch them and listen to Jack Brickhouse. It helped me get through a lot of hard days.No matter what was going on, the Cubs became a constant for me. They were always there. And as I became older it was a bridge to talk to people and meet people.Schuster made her first trip to Wrigley Field in 2007 and says she has been there about six times since. Today, Schuster has no surviving family. She was never able to have children and was an only child. But in the halls of Chateau Center she has built a reputation as the biggest of Cubs fans.Night games arent exactly easy for the elderly. As Thuursday nights Game 5 began, most of the other residents of Chateau Center were either in bed or on their way there. Marcos Rojo Jersey. Yet there was Schuster, in the nursing homes media room, barking at the TV with the passion of someone 50 years younger.Of course I stay up and watch, Shuster explained. I dont get up at 6 a.m. like a lot of these people do. I just sleep til 10.Ninety-year-old Bobby Clark quietly watched the first two innings with Schuster before fading and heading back to his room. He planned on reading about the game in Friday mornings newspaper. I read it every day, he said.Two other Cubs fans, Baker and 86-year-old Joe Zahradnik, hung around the media room for pregame but called it a night before Fowler had even scored in the first. Said Zahradnik: I can only watch day games. And Baker: Ill find out in the morning if we won.But there was Schuster, starting her night in the media room and ending it in her bedroom, glued to the Cubs game all the way until the final out. Through the course of the night, she revealed that Kris Bryant is cute and she admires Addison Russells baby face. He looks like its too late at night for him to be out, she said. In the NLCS, shes quickly grown a dislike for the Dodgers?Adrian Gonzalez. He just seems so nasty to me. When Gonzalez struck out to end the first inning and chirped to the umpire afterward, she made note. See what I mean? she said. Hes just so intimidating. You dont need to act that way. And she was less than pleased with L.A.s baserunners jumping off first base in an effort to distract Cubs left-hander Jon Lester. I cant believe the way they are acting, she said. Its so ignorant.Schuster believes this is the Cubs year because they are no longer led by aging veterans and instead have such a young, talented core. We used to always get players at the end when they were limping on the field, she said. I dont know why we would buy them. But this new guy, Theo [Epstein], hes done some great changes.Schusters bedroom features a Cubs blanket and she regularly drinks from a Cubs mug. Wrapped around her left wrist is a Cubs bracelet and strategically positioned on her nightstand are a pair of Cubs rings that she would prefer others dont touch. She insists she isnt superstitious, yet when she found out the daughter of another resident works in Guest Services at Wrigley Field, she gave the woman a miniature plush goat that said curse breaker on it to take to the ballpark during the division series against the Giants.It worked, she said. They won.But now comes the real test. Up 3-2 in the series and headed back to Wrigley Field, the Cubs stand at the same point they did 13 years earlier against the Florida Marlins. But this time, Schuster, Clark, Baker, Zahradnik and elderly Cubs fans all across Chicago believe the outcome will be different. They have no choice. Their time is running out. They need the Cubs to beat the Dodgers and go on to win the World Series this year.And when they do?A beer, Zahradnik said. A very good beer.I will probably order a pizza, Schuster said. That would be such a great way to celebrate. Spinach, mushrooms and black olives. Yum.Baker has other thoughts.Ill celebrate quietly, the 88-year-old said. At this age, I dont need to be loud. ' ' ' 

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