OKLAHOMA CITY – If there is one thing these Sooners don't lack, it's mental toughness.
OU was down for a large part of the game, including as many as nine points, but rallied back to win a 79-74 decision against the Houston Cougars at the All-College Classic on Saturday.
Houston jumped out early and didn't trail until eight minutes in. The game went back and forth with seven ties in the first half and the Sooners leading by three at the break.
But the Cougars started the second half with a 16-4 run to give them a 53-44 lead just four minutes in.
Not to be outdone, the Sooners responded with an 11-2 run of their own to produce the game's eighth tie just four minutes later.
Houston's final lead of the game came on a layup from Jonathon Simmons with five minutes to play.
But Oklahoma hit seven of its eight free throws down the stretch to keep the Cougars at arm's length until the end.
Steven Pledger was the man of the hour for the Sooners, producing 31 points and 10 boards to easily lead all scorers.
Sam Grooms, Cameron Clark and Andrew Fitzgerald also reached double digits for Oklahoma.
OU took good care of the ball, turning it over just nine times in a game with nine ties and nine lead changes.
The Sooners have continued to rack up the early-season wins, improving to 8-1 on the season.
Their next game will take place on Wednesday at home against South Carolina State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.