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Men's basketball: Sooners fall to Utah State in Myrtle Beach Invitational championship game
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Men: Utah State 73, Oklahoma 70

Men's basketball: Sooners fall to Utah State in Myrtle Beach Invitational championship game

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Oklahoma didn’t get the Myrtle Beach Invitational championship it craved on Sunday, but first-year coach Porter Moser got an in-depth look into his roster.

Utah State rallied in the final minutes to claim a 73-70 title-game win over the Sooners at the eight-team event in Conway, South Carolina. It was the third game in a four-day stretch for OU.

The Sooners (4-1) led 64-58 with five minutes remaining when five different players missed 3-pointers on the team’s final possessions. OU only managed two layups down the stretch.

“We’re up six, under four (minutes), and we took three ill-advised 3s in a row. You have to understand time and score. It starts with me,” Moser said. “Just (get) used to understanding possessions and that’s the process of new coaches, new players, we’re all together and haven’t played a lot of games together.”

Oklahoma defeated East Carolina and Indiana State to advance to Sunday’s championship contest.

Moser admits he would have been surprised by his team’s execution if it was an older squad. But the newness contributed to the late-game mistakes.

“We’re just in our first few games together. We’re yelling time and score. Some guys are in roles they haven’t been in, you know, late games, and they just took some ill-advised shots,” Moser said. “If you had a veteran team and you’ve been there for a long time as a coach, you’re shocked because you’ve been through so many situations together. But we’ve got to grow from this. We’ve got to establish some guard leadership down the stretch. I’ve got to help them with that.”

Utah State’s Brock Miller hit back-to-back 3s to give the Aggies a 67-66 lead with 1:43 to play. OU would never lead again.

Oklahoma’s Tanner Groves finished with a team-high 18 points. Umoja Gibson had 16 points.

Utah State’s Justin Been — a Southmoore High School graduate — ended with 24 points and 19 rebounds.

OU will host Houston Baptist at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


UTAH ST. (4-1): Bean 8-11 6-7 24, Horvath 3-8 6-6 13, Eytle-Rock 3-6 4-4 10, Jones 3-13 0-0 6, Miller 5-11 2-2 16, Ashworth 1-3 2-2 4, Dorius 0-1 0-0 0, Hamoda 0-2 0-0 0, Shulga 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 20-21 73.

OKLAHOMA (4-1): T.Groves 7-15 3-3 18, Hill 4-8 2-2 10, Gibson 5-10 2-2 16, Goldwire 3-8 0-1 7, Harkless 4-10 0-0 10, Noland 2-6 0-0 5, J.Groves 0-2 0-0 0, Chargois 2-4 0-0 4, Cortes 0-0 0-0 0, Mason 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-64 7-8 70.

Halftime: Utah St. 32-30. 3-Point Goals: US 7-26 (Miller 4-10, Bean 2-2, Horvath 1-4, Hamoda 0-1, Ashworth 0-2, Eytle-Rock 0-2, Jones 0-5), OU 9-33 (Gibson 4-7, Harkless 2-7, Goldwire 1-4, Noland 1-4, T.Groves 1-5, Chargois 0-1, Mason 0-1, J.Groves 0-2, Hill 0-2). Rebounds: US 35 (Bean 19), OU 29 (Hill 10). Assists: US 16 (Jones 5), OU 16 (T.Groves, Gibson, Goldwire, Harkless 3). Total Fouls: US 14, OU 20. A: 1,101.


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