Oklahoma looks to bounce back quickly from its first loss of the season when the Sooners face Portland in a consolation game in the PK80 Invitational Victory Bracket on Friday in Portland, Ore. The Sooners are one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams at 99.7 points per game, marking the second straight opponent who can light up the scoreboard for the Pilots.
The Sooners fell 92-83 to Arkansas in their first-round game despite another sensational game from star freshman guard Trae Young, who poured in 28 points to go with five assists. The Sooners were within two points of the Razorbacks with 1:04 remaining before Arkansas pulled away. Portland was overmatched in a 102-78 loss to defending national champion North Carolina in its tournament opener. The Pilots’ two wins have come against NAIA opponents Walla Walla and Oregon Tech.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT PORTLAND (2-2): The Pilots didn’t have the horses to run with the Tar Heels, and they could be in for more of the same against an Oklahoma team that also likes to push the pace. Franklin Porter (13 points, 4.3 rebounds) scored 19 points against North Carolina to take over the team scoring lead, while Marcus Shaver Jr. (10.8 points) added a season-high 17 off the bench. Josh McSwiggan (12.3 points) entered Thursday’s game as the Pilots’ leading scorer but was limited to six points on 2-of-7 shooting.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (2-1): The homegrown star Young (21.7 points, 9.3 assists) continued his tremendous play and kept the Sooners in the game Thursday, but fellow freshman Brady Manek (11 points, six rebounds) struggled to six points. Christian James (13.3 points) has scored in double digits in every game thus far, and Khadeem Lattin (12.7 points, 8.3 rebounds) recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Sooners need to take better care of the ball after committing 19 turnovers Thursday.
1. Oklahoma has won at least two games in all six of its previous early-season tournament under coach Lon Kruger.
2. The Sooners have recorded more assists than the opposition in each of their three games.
3. Portland made a season-high 13 3-pointers against North Carolina and is shooting 44.9 percent from behind the arc.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 97, Portland 77