Sooners Fall To SLU In 76 Classic Finals

Monday, November 28th 2011, 11:35 am
By: News 9

The Oklahoma Sooners fell just short of winning the 76 Classic after the Saint Louis Billikens downed the Sooners 83-63 in the championship game.

Brian Conklin, the tournament MVP, led the effort for SLU and tied a career-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

"We just played our hearts out and the results showed," said Conklin. "It feels great."

The Sooners struggled with foul trouble starting in the first half as three starters-- Sam Grooms, Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby -- all sat with two fouls for much of the first half.

OU also struggled some from the floor shooting 40 percent in the first half and 20 percent from three point range.

The Billikens scored the last 10 points of the first half to go up 39-30 at the break and SLU would extend that lead after halftime.

Oklahoma closed within nine points midway through the second half on a three point bucket by Tyler Neal. But SLU would answer with an 11-2 run to grab their largest lead.

The Sooners picked up the pressure defensively, moving to a full-court man-to-man. They forced a pair of turnovers and on three occasions got within12 points.

Saint Louis shot a season-best 60 percent from the floor and went 16-of-20 from the charity stripe.

Oklahoma finished the game on 41.7 percent shooting from the field and 30 percent from behind the arc.

Romero Osby and Cameron Clark each had 14 points for the Sooners who suffered their first loss of the season.

Cody Ellis scored 16 points on four 3-pointers for SLU while Kwamain Mitchell added 10 points.

OU head coach Lon Kruger won last year's 76 Classic Championship when he coached UNLV.

The Sooners return to action Dec. 2 against Sacramento Sate at 7;30 p.m. in Norman.