Oklahoma's quest for a repeat trip the Final Four got off to a rocky start Thursday night.
Ebi Ere scored 24 points and Hollis Price added 19, but it wasn't enough as No. 8 Alabama rolled to a 68-62 upset win over the third-ranked Sooners in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Oklahoma couldn't stop Alabama sophomore guard Mo Williams, who led all scorers with 25 points.
Williams buried a three at the end of the first half to give Alabama a 33-25 lead, and would later score six points in the last 1:27 to help the Tide thwart a potential Sooner comeback.
The Crimson Tide sed a 10-0 run at the beginning of the second half to extend the lead to 18 points.
Oklahoma would make a late run behind Price, who scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, and eventually cut the lead to as five points several times down the stretch.
But each time the Sooners' cut the lead to five it was Williams who answered the call. Williams answered a Jabahri Brown layup with 1:30 to play with a pair of free throws to push the lead back to seven. Brown made a another jumper on the Sooners' next possession, but Williams broke Oklahoma's press and went the length of the court for another easy layup.
Ebi Ere then converted two free throws to cut the lead back to five at 64-59 with 58 seconds to go. The Sooners quickly forced a turnover, but Williams rebounded a missed Blake Johnston three-point attempt, was fouled and hit two more free throws with 28 seconds left to virtually ice the game.
The Sooners will return to Norman and will play their second and final exhibition game of the season against Athletes First on Sunday at 3 p.m. inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
Game Recap: SoonerSports.com
Game Stats: SoonerSports.com
Tide Rolls Past Oklahoma, 68-62
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