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Oklahoma Basketball: Sooners top ECU, 79-74, to open Myrtle Beach Invitational

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After building a 12-point lead in the second half, the Sooners had to gut out a tough one to advance to the semifinals.

Americans Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend At Myrtle Beach Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images

In their first trip away from the Lloyd Noble Center in 2021-22, the Oklahoma Sooners held on to survive against the East Carolina Pirates, 79-74. Five Sooners ended up scoring double figures, include Jordan Goldwire and Umoja Gibson with 13 apiece.

In the first half of action, OU connected on 15 of 23 field goal attempts, but 10 turnovers helped keep it at a 1-point contest at intermission. After building a 12-point second-half lead and appearing to break it open, the offense began to stagnate, which allowed the Pirates to hang around. In spite of going the final 2:35 without a field goal, OU’s defense and reliability at the free throw line (21-27) won the day.

One of the positives of the evening was the amount of depth that the team displayed, as 11 different Sooners saw minutes Thursday evening. Perhaps most notable were the quality minutes contributed by freshman guard Bijan Cortes and redshirt sophomore center Rick Issanza, who made important plays at crucial junctures.

Tanner Graves, Jalen Hill and Elijah Harkless also reach double figures for the Sooners, scoring 12, 12, and 10 respectively.

The Sooners will face the winner of Indiana State and Old Dominion Friday evening.