Christian James scored 18 points to help Oklahoma hold off Florida 65-60 in Wednesday’s first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Aaron Calixte hit two clinching free throws with 5.0 seconds left for the Sooners (4-0), who led by 11 in the first half and 63-54 with 3:38 left. The Gators got back in it with 3-pointers from KeVaughn Allen and Noah Locke to make it a one-possession game, then had a final possession to pull within one or tie it in the final 15 seconds.
But Allen’s driving shot missed, setting up Calixte’s free throws to advance the Sooners in the winners’ bracket.
Oklahoma helped itself by taking a 48-34 rebounding advantage, including 15-7 on the offensive glass.
Dontay Bassett had 14 points off the bench to lead the Gators (2-2), who hit a season-high 11 3-pointers after struggling from behind the arc entering the tournament.