Griffin Scores 35, OU Holds on 80-76

It was definitely not their cleanest game of the year, but the Sooners defense would stiffen late in the second half to help them hold on to a slim 80-76 victory. All-American Blake Griffin had another big game and scored 35 points.

Oklahoma won 80-76, but Gardner-Webb proved to be a pesky bunch that would hang tough with the Sooners all the way until the final whistle.

"First of all we feel fortunate to get the win," OU Head Coach Jeff Capel informed. "I thought Gardner-Webb was tremendous."

"I felt they played with a sense of urgency. They played like a team that was desperate and hungry for a win."

The Sooners opened up a lead as big as 11 points in the first half, but the Runnin Bulldogs would gain the momentum by cutting the lead to five heading in to the break.

OU came out flat offensively in the second half and Gardner Webb would pull out in front by as many as five points before The Sooners would pick up the intensity.

The Sooners were able to hang on to the victory in large part to a stout defense that caused 13 steals and forced 17 Gardner-Webb turnovers, holding them to 38.2% from the field in the second stanza.

"I thought we showed some character in the last 5:00 minutes," Capel explained. "We made some plays. We got some stops and made some offensive plays."

"We were a able to find a way to win out of the hole that we were in."

Consensus preseason All-American Blake Griffin had his fourth huge game in a row. He scored 35 points and pulled down 21 boards on his way to his fourth consecutive double-double to start the 2008-2009 season.

"If we get somebody like that in our league I am going to have them investigated," Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Scruggs said with a laugh.

"He would be way too good for the Big South."

Overtime: Senior guard and three-point specialist Cade Davis missed the game due to a "rolled ankle", but he is expected back in time for the Sooners game against UAB in the semi-finals of the preseason NIT.


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