OU Falls to Saint Louis in 76 Classic Finals

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 27, 2011

(4-1, 0-0)
  1st 2nd F
 Saint Louis 39 44 83
 Oklahoma 30 33 63
Stats | Notes | Quotes | Photos | Highlights | Postgame

(6-0, 0-0)
 Stat Comparison OU SLU
 Points 83 63
 FG Made-Attempted 25-60 29-48
 FG Percentage 41.7% 52.9%
 3P Made/Attempted 3-10 9-17
 3P Percentage 30.0% 52.9%
 FT Made-Attempted 10-15 16-20
 FT Percentage 66.7% 80.0%
 Rebounds 31 29
 Turnovers 12 11
 Individual Leaders
 Stat  Oklahoma  Saint Louis
 Points  2 Players (14)  Conklin (25)
 Rebounds  3 Players (6)  Evans (7)
 Assists  Pledger (2)  Jett (5)
 Steals  Blair (2)  Mitchell (1)
 Blocks  Clark (1)  Evans (1)
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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Brian Conklin tied a career-high 25 points to help Saint Louis beat Oklahoma 83-63 on Sunday night, capturing the 76 Classic championship.

Conklin finished shooting 9 of 11 from the field and hit all seven of his tries from the free-throw line. He was named the tournament's MVP.

"The guys were fantastic the whole way," said Conklin. "We just played our hearts out and the results showed. It feels great."

Cody Ellis scored 16 points on four 3-pointers and Kwamain Mitchell added 10 points for the Billikens (6-0), which are off to their best start in 14 years.

Romero Osby and Cameron Clark each had 14 points for the Sooners (4-1).

The Billikens scored the last 10 points of the first half to grab a 39-30 lead. They pulled away after halftime.

Saint Louis shot a season-best 60 percent from the floor and went 16 of 20 from the free-throw line.

"They are a club that executes as well as anyone," said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger.

Oklahoma closed within nine points midway through the second half on Tyler Neal's 3-pointer. The Billikens followed with an 11-2 run to grab their largest lead.

Conklin started the run with a pair of free throws. He added a putback of his own miss, Ellis and Jordair Jett hit jumpers, and Ellis knocked down a corner 3-pointer to make it 68-50 with 8:11 remaining.

The Sooners picked up the pressure defensively, moving to a full-court man-to-man. They forced a pair of turnovers and got within 12 points on three occasions.

But Conklin kept them at bay, hitting four straight free throws to keep the Billikens alive.

"I always knew this was the team we had," Conklin said.

Saint Louis knocked off three teams from major conferences on the way to the tournament title. They also beat Boston College and Villanova.

Kruger failed in his attempt to win consecutive 76 Classic championships. He led UNLV to the title last year.

Neither team led by more than four points until Saint Louis closed the first half on a 10-0 run. Ellis hit a transition 3-pointer and Mitchell had a pair of 3s during the spurt, resulting in a nine-point halftime lead.

Oklahoma was plagued by early foul trouble. Three starters -- Sam Grooms, Andrew Fitzgerald and Osby -- all sat with two fouls for much of the first half.



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