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Sooners advance in Old Spice

The Oklahoma Sooners blew a 20-point lead but held on to advance to the semi-finals of the Old Spice Classic with a 68-61 win over UTEP.

Romero Osby had a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and a career best four assists. Stephen Pledger added 12 points including a key three-pointer late in the game.

"It was a great start,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “You'd like to start all ball games like that, not only on the scoreboard, but the energy was good and the activity defensively was very good, and there were very few turnovers on the offense at the other end. We needed every bit of it as UTEP kept battling. We gave them a chance to get back in there late and we went a long stretch there in the second half not getting in a shot, just a couple free throws. It was a good win for our guys and a good way to start a tournament."

Oklahoma was up 52-32 early in the second half when UTEP started to battle back. Eventually, the Miners got with six points with just over three minutes to play.

"We want to get up in the peephole and make them uncomfortable and be active,” said Kruger. “I thought for the most part our effort and energy on the defensive end."

Oklahoma advances to play 17th-ranked Gonzaga in Friday's semifinals at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

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