Brady Manek scored a game-high 17 points and the Oklahoma Sooners used a 23-4 run in the second half to rally past the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 71-62, on Saturday night in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Kristian Doolittle scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Jamal Bienemy added 15 off the bench for the Sooners (2-0). Manek also added eight boards.
Sophomore transfer Marcus Carr led the Gophers (1-1) with 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals. Daniel Oturu scored 15 points and added nine rebounds and Payton Willis added 15 points. The Gophers, however, got just four points off the bench.
The Sooners trailed 51-43 with 12:06 remaining before finally stringing together baskets from four different players, culminating with Alondes Williams’ three-point play to give them their first lead of the second half, 55-53, with 8:10 left.
The Sooners would extend that lead to 66-55 with 1:52 left on a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Manek.
The Gophers took a 32-26 lead into halftime in a first half that was sleepy for the first 19 minutes.
The Sooners shot just 23.5 percent from the floor, and the Gophers had more turnovers (6) than field goals (5) with 8 ½ minutes remaining in the half. The Gophers also went scoreless for more than 6 minutes.
But the Gophers came on strong late, spurred by Willis’ two 3-pointers in the final 49 seconds of the half. The game had been tied at 24-24 with 1:01 left before Willis drained treys on consecutive possessions to help give Minnesota its biggest lead of the game.
Willis finished the half with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the floor, all from long range.
The Sooners were led by Manek’s eight points, but the bulk of OU’s offense came at the free throw line, where it made 10 of 13. The Sooners finished 0-for-7 from the 3-point line in the half.
Both teams play again Tuesday. Oklahoma tangles with Oregon State while the Gophers continue their ambitious non-conference schedule by playing at Butler.
—Field Level Media