Sooners outlast South Alabama with a 64-60 win

Jacob GrovesPart of the Oklahoma Basketball Groves brother duo, may have single-handedly saved the Sooners’ bacon Friday night at the Lloyd Nobel Center.

Jacobs, younger brother of Super Senior tanning grovesknocked down a three-point clutch shot that gave Oklahoma a 62-60 lead with just three minutes left, then delivered a potential game-saving shot block at the other end with 19 seconds left to end the win.

The Sooners held on to a 64-60 win from behind over South Alabama to record their third win of the season against a loss. Oklahoma trailed as much as 12 points in the first half but closed 33-30 on three at the break.

The two teams went back and forth in the second half before South Alabama took a four-four lead 60-56, with 5-18 remaining the rule. Grant Sherfield fired a three on the Sooners’ next possession to reduce the Jaguars’ lead to a point and set up Groves’ follow-on three just over a minute later.

Sherfield, who had a team-high 17 points in the game, added two free throws to cap the OU win. Jacob’s brother Tanner contributed 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

“We’ve done some good things,” the Sooner head coach said Porter Moser after the game. “We’re getting better. The biggest message coming out here is find a way to win and do some sweepstakes.

The Sooners’ next outing will be outside of the LNC as OU travels to central Florida to play the ESPN Events Invitational at the State Farm Field House in Kissimmee. OU will open with Nebraska on Thursday, followed by Memphis or Seton Hall on Friday.

Three takeaways from the win in Oklahoma:

  • The Sooners were caught by Sam Houston State in the season opener and could easily have folded that game. Instead, OU stayed tough, didn’t panic, and made the big plays on the line to secure the win.
  • Oklahoma overtook South Alabama 39-23, including 10 offensive boards. The Sooners’ 10-2 lead on the offensive glass resulted in 19 second chance points, which proved huge in this competition. Tanner Groves pulled down a team = high 11 rebounds.
  • OU’s problems with three-point shooting are of increasing concern. The Sooners were just 3 of 17 behind the three-pointer on Friday. Additionally, Tanner Groves, who is usually quite effective at hitting the long ball, was 0 for 10 with the three-ball. No other Sooner made more than one attempt from three-point range. For the season, Oklahoma shoots just 29 percent from long range (21 of 73). That has to improve or the Sooners will have a long season ahead of them.

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