Oklahoma 82, Cal St.-Northridge 72
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—Junior college transfer Taj Gray scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to help Oklahoma beat Cal State-Northridge 82-72 Saturday.
Gray scored 22 of his points in the second half as Oklahoma (1-0) recovered from a 12-point first-half deficit to win the first meeting between the two schools.
After a first half that saw the Sooners fall behind early, the two teams swapped the lead seven times in the second half before Oklahoma pulled away in the final three minutes.
Gray’s free throws gave Oklahoma the lead with 2:55 remaining. He added to that with a dunk off Drew Lavender’s steal, fueling a 9-0 Sooner rally.
The Sooners went into their season opener Saturday unranked for the first time since their 1999-2000 season.
Looking disjointed early, the team struggled offensively for most of the first half.
Some scoring droughts lasted two to three minutes and the team turned the ball over 11 times.
Leading only in the opening minute, Oklahoma regained the edge with 1:05 remaining in the first half with the help of three consecutive Cal State Northridge turnovers.
Oklahoma’s lead was brief as Robert Locke hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to give Cal State Northridge a 35-34 halftime lead.
Calvin Chitwood led in scoring for Cal State Northridge with 19 points.
Ian Boylan and Joseph Frazier each had 14 for the Matadors.