Christian James scored 21 points as Oklahoma squandered a 14-point lead in the first half and then rallied midway through the second half to claim third place in the Battle 4 Atlantis with a 65-54 victory over Dayton Friday at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
James produced his third 20-point game of the season for Oklahoma (5-1). He shot 8 of 15 from the floor as the Sooners shot 42 percent.
Miles Reynolds added 17 points and Jamuni McNeace contributed a season-high 16 points for the Sooners, who avoided losing consecutive games in November under coach Lon Kruger.
Jalen Crutcher scored 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting for Dayton (4-2), which overcame missing its first seven shots and 13 of its first 17 to climb into the lead early in the second half, only to get outscored 31-13 over the final 16 minutes of the game. Jordan Davis and Trey Landers added 12 apiece as Dayton shot 31.7 percent.
Oklahoma took its first double-digit lead at 20-10 on a free throw by McNeace with 11:05 remaining in the first half. McNeace scored eight points during a 12-4 run that pushed the lead to 26-12.
Dayton scored the next seven points, forcing Oklahoma to burn a 30-second timeout with 6:35 left and by halftime, the Sooners settled for a 34-28 lead after missing seven of their last eight shots. The Flyers kept rallying, scored the first 13 points of the second half and took a 36-34 lead on a layup by Davis with 17:57 remaining following an Oklahoma turnover.
Oklahoma regained the lead at 45-43 at the 10:33 mark on a layup by Aaron Calixte, prompting Dayton to use a 30-second timeout. Oklahoma gradually expanded the lead, taking a 53-48 edge on a 3-pointer by James with 4:22 left before going up 57-49 on a jumper by Reynolds with 2:28 left.
Dayton’s last chance at a comeback occurred in the final minute but Davis missed a layup with 67 seconds left and a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left. After a layup by Landers made it 59-54 with 44 seconds left, Reynolds iced the game by making six free throws in the final 34 seconds.
—Field Level Media