LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Romero Osby had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma nearly blew a 20-point lead in a 68-61 victory over Texas-El Paso in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday night.
Steven Pledger added 12 points, including a key late 3-pointer, for Oklahoma (3-0).
Texas-El Paso (1-2) got 12 points from Chris Washburn. Julian Washburn and Jacques Streeter both had 11.
Oklahoma went up 52-32 when Isaiah Cousins connected on a 3-pointer. UTEP battled back, getting within 64-58 with just over three minutes to play on Streeter’s 3-pointer and two free throws by Washburn.
C.J. Cooper connected on two more free throws that cut the deficit to 64-60 with 1:44 to play.
Pledger then made a long-range jumper with 63 seconds remaining to put Oklahoma up 67-60 and seal the win.
Osby had 10 points, leading Oklahoma to a 38-26 halftime advantage.
Pledger made a long-range jumper and Osby hit two free throws that extended the Oklahoma lead to 49-32 early in the second half.
Osby had four points, including a dunk, as Oklahoma took a 13-0 lead four minutes into the game. The Sooners went 6 of 9 from the field during the stretch, while UTEP missed all four of its shots.
UTEP got its first basket, cutting the deficit to 15-2, on Cedrick Lang’s layup with 14:48 left in the first half.
Je’lon Hornbeak’s 3-pointer put the Sooners up 27-12 midway through the first.
The Miners pulled within 29-24 with six minutes left in the first half after Streeter hit a 3-pointer and then converted a 3-point play.
OU will play No. 17 Gonzaga at 6:30 tonight.
West Virginia 87, Marist 44: Eron Harris scored 15 points and Terry Henderson added 14 to lead West Virginia past Marist in the first round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday.
Mountaineers center Aaric Murray came in off the bench in the second half and finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Henderson had all his points in the first half to help West Virginia (1-1) take a 51-19 halftime lead.
Gonzaga 57, Clemson 49:Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk each scored 13 points too help No. 17 Gonzaga beat Clemson in a first round game Thursday night at the Old Spice Classic.
David Stockton had an end-to-end layup, while Kevin Pangos and Harris added in-close baskets as Gonzaga went ahead 47-39 with 6 1-2 minutes to play.