No. 8 Oklahoma beats Memphis 84-78

No. 8 Oklahoma beats Memphis 84-78

Published Nov. 17, 2015 7:48 p.m. ET

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Buddy Hield scored 30 points and No. 8 Oklahoma held off Memphis 84-78 on Tuesday in the Sooners' season-opening game.

Oklahoma returned four starters off last season's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team that finished 24-11 and Hield is a preseason All-American.

This was the Sooners' first victory over Memphis in seven tries and it wasn't easy as the Tigers were up 76-75 with 1:38 to go.

A dunk from forward Ryan Spangler, who finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, gave the Sooners a 77-76 lead. A 3-pointer by guard Jordan Woodard made it 80-76 with 38 seconds left. He had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.


Freshman forward Dedric Lawson led Memphis (1-1) with 22 points and 15 rebounds. The Tigers got 12 points each from guards Markel Crawford and Avery Woodson.

Oklahoma led by as many as eight points in the first half and held a 42-41 edge at halftime.

The last time the Sooners and Tigers met, in the 2K Sports Challenge in New York in November of 2007, Memphis was coached by John Calipari and ranked third in the nation; Memphis won that game 63-53. Tuesday's game was part of ESPN's annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

Hield was 9-for-19 from the floor and 4-for-8 from 3-point range as the Sooners hit on 11 of 26 threes (42.3 percent) overall. Hield also had eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Memphis stayed close by continually getting to the free-throw line. But the Tigers converted on just 18 of 31 attempts (58.1 percent) and senior Shaq Goodwin was just 3 of 7 from the foul line and 2-for-9 from the floor with seven points and seven rebounds.

OU also survived giving up 22 points on 19 turnovers; Memphis won fastbreak points 23-16.

TIP-INS: Oklahoma's Lon Kruger is the only coach to take five different teams to the NCAA Tournament: Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV and OU. ... In his seven season at Memphis, coach Josh Pastner's 149 victories rank fifth in program history. ... Memphis was 18-14 last season and did not make the NCAAs after four straight trips. ... The Tigers never trailed in their opener against Southern Miss on Saturday, Nov. 14, winning 67-49.


McDonald's All-American forward Dedric Lawson backed up his season-opening performance of 13 points and a team-high five assists in a win over Southern Miss by scoring 22 points with 15 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and two steals (four turnovers) against the Sooners.


Memphis Grambling State on Thursday.

Oklahoma hosts McNeese State on Friday.