Sooners Squeak By Oral Roberts
TULSA, Oklahoma - Steven Pledger hit a floater with 1:16 remaining, and the Oklahoma Sooners held off a very game Oral Roberts squad in the final minute to win 63-62 in front of 7,219 fans at the Mabee Center.
ORU's Steven Roundtree scored and was fouled by OU's Amath M'Baye with 18.8 seconds remaining, but missed the free throw that would have tied the game at 63. ORU rebounded the ball, but Shawn Glover missed a jumper that was rebounded by OU's Romero Osby with 1.4 seconds left to seal the Sooners' win.
Oral Roberts established a 10-point lead on a jumper by Glover with nine minutes remaining in the second half, but the Sooners went on a 15-4 run over the next five and a half minutes, taking the lead with 3:39 left on a Pledger three-pointer.
The Golden Eagles had several opportunities to take the lead, but ORU went just 1-for-4 in the final three minutes of the game.
ORU's Warren Niles led all scorers with 21 points, but shot just 2-for-9 from three-point range. Shawn Glover had 17 points, and Steven Roundtree had 14.
For the Sooners, who shot just 39.7 percent from the field, M'Baye led the team in scoring with 12 points, while Osby and Buddy Hield both had 11. Hield's 11 points all came in the final 15 minutes of the game.
The game was ugly early in the first half. Neither team shot the ball very well, and turnovers were rampant for the first several minutes. The Sooners were especially cold from the floor, airballing three shots early on.
The Golden Eagles began to warm up first, taking their biggest lead of the first half at 15-7 on a three-pointer by Niles with 10:31 to go in the half. The Sooners finally started to get shots to fall, but ORU maintained an eight- or six-point lead for the next several minutes as the teams exchanged baskets.
The Sooners cut the lead to 25-22 in favor of ORU with a M'Baye layup and a Je'lon Hornbeak steal and three-point play. However, Niles hit a three-pointer to push the lead back to six.
ORU closed out the half leading 35-31.
The Sooners return home to take on Northwestern State Friday night at 7 p.m. With a win, OU head coach Lon Kruger would have career win No. 500. Oral Roberts travels to take on Missouri State Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.