It wasn’t a pretty game, but season-openers never seem to be. Still, Oklahoma survived a sloppy, foul-ridden first game of the season Tuesday night on the road against Memphis.
Leaning on its veterans, Oklahoma won late – something it struggled to do last season – by leaning on what it does best. Buddy Hield scored 30 points, one shy of his career-high. Ryan Spangler worked inside, recording his 18th career double-double
But point guard Jordan Woodard took control late, knocking down a 3-pointer with 35 seconds to go while scoring seven points and throwing a perfect alley-oop pass in the final three minutes to help the Sooners pull away from Memphis late, 84-78.
Woodard finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but made the biggest shot of the game for the Sooners, who committed 19 turnovers and 23 fouls while shooting less than 40 percent from the field in the second half.
Even after Woodard knocked down a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma (1-0) a four-point lead in the final minute, Memphis hit a pair of free throws before Isaiah Cousins committed a foul on a 3-point attempt by Memphis freshman Dedric Lawson.
Lawson, who devastated Oklahoma inside for much of the night and finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds in only his second game, missed all three free throws.
Spangler finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Cousins added 13 points and six rebounds. Hield finished better than 50 percent from the field and added eight rebounds for No. 8 Oklahoma, which allowed 23 offensive rebounds.
The Sooners play McNeese State in the home opener at 7 p.m. Friday night.