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Oklahoma Sooners Claim Diamond Head Classic Championship 83-71 Over Harvard Crimson Behind Career Nights

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Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

After trailing 37-35 at halftime, the Oklahoma Sooners opened the second half with two consecutive three pointers from Ryan Spangler. The effort provided a spark as the Sooners found success in the transition game building a 52-37 lead. Unable to slow down the downhill attack, the Harvard Crimson exhausted a timeout hoping to put an end to a 17-point run since coming out of the locker room.

Unfortunately for the Crimson, Jordan Woodard continued a perfect stretch (4-of-4 at the time) from behind the arc extending the lead further. Not only were the Sooners rolling on offense, the defense forced Harvard into ill-advised situations. The result? A 23-2 run over a four and a half minute period appeared to put OU firmly in control of the game.

However, Harvard refused to throw in the towel. Stringing together a mini run of their own, the Crimson cut the lead down to 62-54 with 8:16 remaining behind a 12-point surge. All of the sudden, it was once again a ball game folks. Refusing to relinquish the lead, Oklahoma went on to win the Diamond Head Classic by a final score of 83-71. The Harvard loss marks the first time the Crimson have lost during an in-season tournament under Tommy Amaker.

Leading the way, Buddy Hield recorded a new career high with 34 points on 11-of-14 shooting breaking his previous mark of 33. Yet, the star wasn't the only play putting up career numbers. In addition, Woodard stepped up to the free throw line in the closing minutes collecting his 25th and 26th point. Before the clock hit 00:00, the point guard put up a career high 28 points.

Although Isaiah Cousins only scored seven points in the tournament finale, the senior eclipsed the 1,000 point mark joining an elite club of Sooners. OU now enjoys a bit of time off to not only celebrate but prepare for conference play. They'll welcome Iowa State to Lloyd Noble on January 2nd of 2016.