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Oklahoma Sooners Basketball: OU outlasts North Texas, 82-80

Kristian Doolittle paces the Sooners with 28 points in a wild win.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Behind a 46 point outburst in the second half, the Oklahoma Sooners pulled out an 82-80 win over the North Texas Mean Green at UNT Coliseum.

With the Sooners enjoying the hospitality of a C-USA foe, OU fans watching at home were treated to a Thursday evening with Facebook Live. Those who did tune in witnessed a wild affair that saw a three point jumper by the Mean Green clang off the rim at the final buzzer, securing OU’s win. The victory ran the Sooners’ overall record to 7-1 on the season.

The Sooners trailed UNT at halftime, 41-36, before heating up in the second half. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle led the team in scoring with 28 points. Doolittle canned 11 of his 15 field goal attempts, including all three of his three pointers. Sharpshooting junior wing Austin Reaves wasn’t his usual self from long distance, hitting just two of six three point attempts. He still tallied 22 points for the game, thanks in large part to sinking 12 of 14 free throws.

Four of five Sooner starters ended the game in double figures in scoring, with junior forward Brady Manek chipping in 16 points and freshman guard De’Vion Harmon adding 11. Coach Lon Kruger got virtually nothing from his bench players, who combined to score just two points and grab two rebounds.

OU survived a game effort from the Mean Green. UNT led by as many as 10 points in the second half before a 10-0 run by the Sooners tied the game up with just under eight minutes remaining. A three from Doolittle with 14 seconds left gave OU the lead for good at 81-78.

Two makes from the charity stripe by sophomore guard Umoja Gibson of the Mean Green brought the home team within a point before a Manek free throw provided the final margin. OU still had to sweat out the off-the-mark three point shot from UNT’s Thomas Bell in the waning seconds to leave with a win.

The Sooners won’t play again for nine days. Their next game will be a homecoming for Reaves, a former member of the Wichita State Shockers. OU faces off against the Shockers at 5 p.m. CT on Dec. 14 at Intrust Bank Arena. A year ago, the Sooners dominated WSU coach Gregg Marshall team’s in a 80-48 romp at Chesapeake Energy Arena.