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Oklahoma Claims Third Place In Old Spice Classic

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ORLANDO, Florida -

The progress the Oklahoma men's basketball team has made from last season can't just be counted in wins and losses. The nature of those wins and losses tell a story all their own.

So when you look at the box score of Oklahoma's 77-70 win over West Virginia that claimed third place in the Old Spice Classic on Sunday, you might have to look a little deeper to see the growth this team has experienced.

Oklahoma grabbed its first lead at the 11:48 mark with a layup from Romero Osby to make the score 15-14 in favor of the Sooners The Sooners led by as many as 12 in the first half, after a three-point shot from Tyler Neal with 6:03 to go before halftime. OU didn't trail the rest of the way.

In the second half, the Mountaineers made a run, thanks in large part to the Sooners' inability to not foul. For the game, OU committed 27 fouls, and West Virginia went 24-for-34 from the charity stripe.

The Mountaineers finally tied the score at 62 with 6:32 remaining.

Last season, the Sooners would have folded, but this season, the Sooners responded in a big way, going on a quick 9-2 scoring run, seven coming from freshmen Je'lon Hornbeak and Buddy Hield, to go back up 71-64 with 3:34 remaining. With West Virginia unable to hit shots down the stretch, the Sooners were able to close out the game with free throws.

Amath M'Baye led the Sooners with 19 points, while Hornbeak had 14. Juwan Staten led West Virginia with 15 points.

The Sooners return to action Wednesday, when they hit the road again to take on Oral Roberts in Tulsa. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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