LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Romero Osby had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma nearly blew a 20-point lead in a 68-61 victory over Texas-El Paso in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday night.
Steven Pledger added 12 points, including a key late 3-pointer, for Oklahoma (3-0).Texas-El Paso (1-2) got 12 points from Chris Washburn. Julian Washburn and Jacques Streeter both had 11.Oklahoma went up 52-32 when Isaiah Cousins connected on a 3-pointer. UTEP battled back, getting within 64-58 with just over three minutes to play on Streeter's 3-pointer and two free throws by Washburn.C.J. Cooper connected on two more free throws that cut the deficit to 64-60 with 1:44 to play.Pledger then made a long-range jumper with 63 seconds remaining to put Oklahoma up 67-60 and seal the win.Osby had 10 points, leading Oklahoma to a 38-26 halftime advantage.Pledger made a long-range jumper and Osby hit two free throws that extended the Oklahoma lead to 49-32 early in the second half.Osby had four points, including a dunk, as Oklahoma took a 13-0 lead four minutes into the game. The Sooners went 6 of 9 from the field during the stretch, while UTEP missed all four of its shots.UTEP got its first basket, cutting the deficit to 15-2, on Cedrick Lang's layup with 14:48 left in the first half.Je'lon Hornbeak's 3-pointer put the Sooners up 27-12 midway through the first.The Miners pulled within 29-24 with six minutes left in the first half after Streeter hit a 3-pointer and then coverted a 3-point play.