MEMPHIS, Tenn-Buddy Hield scored 30 points and No. 8 Oklahoma held off Memphis 84-78 on Tuesday in the Sooners’ season-opening game.
Oklahoma returned four starters off last season’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team that finished 24-11 and Hield is a preseason All-American.
This was the Sooners’ first victory over Memphis in seven tries and it wasn’t easy as the Tigers were up 76-75 with 1:38 to go.
A dunk from forward Ryan Spangler, who finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, gave the Sooners a 77-76 lead. A 3-pointer by guard Jordan Woodard made it 80-76 with 38 seconds left. He had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Freshman forward Dedric Lawson led Memphis (1-1) with 22 points and 15 rebounds. The Tigers got 12 points each from guards Markel Crawford and Avery Woodson.
Oklahoma led by as many as eight points in the first half and held a 42-41 edge at halftime.