OU perfect from field and free throw line in extra session to beat North Carolina Central.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- On a night when nothing was going right, it took a busted play for Steven Pledger to come up with some heroics for Oklahoma.
Pledger forced overtime by hitting a 3-pointer after a chaotic play with 15.2 seconds left, and the Sooners rallied to beat North Carolina Central 71-63 on Tuesday night after trailing throughout the second half.
Emanuel Chapman knocked the ball away from Oklahoma's Calvin Newell in what could have been a clinching play for the Eagles. Instead, Newell was able to recover along the left sideline and fire a cross court pass to Pledger on the right wing for the tying shot.
"I was happy to see him step up with confidence and shoot," Sooners coach Jeff Capel said. "He was one of the guys that I thought -- all of our guys -- lost confidence in shooting the basketball because we couldn't make a shot."
Oklahoma (2-0) had missed 18 of its 19 shots from 3-point range before Pledger rattled in a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 56-55 with 1:06 to play in regulation. C.J. Wilkerson answered with two free throws for North Carolina Central (1-1) before Emanuel's near stop.
"It came down to a loose ball and I thought we secured it and they just come out of the pack and they throw it over and hit a 3, and I thought that broke our backs," Eagles coach LeVelle Moton said. "As a young team, I thought we stayed in that moment as opposed to moving forward. I thought it affected us mentally and physically in overtime."
Barry Honore blocked Wilkerson's driving shot for the tie in the final seconds, and the Sooners never trailed in overtime after Nick Thompson's two layups to start the extra period.
"We'll take it," said Thompson, who had six points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. "We'll take them ugly, we'll take them pretty, we'll take them by one. We'll take them by 10."
Andrew Fitzgerald led Oklahoma with 22 points and Pledger finished with 14 after missing his first eight shots. The Sooners shot 29 percent in regulation before hitting all four of their shots in overtime.
Landon Clement hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Eagles. Wilkerson added 16 points and Nick Chasten scored 13.
Wilkerson, Clement and Chasten hit consecutive 3-pointers to put North Carolina Central ahead midway through the first half, and the Eagles were able to stay ahead until the final minute of regulation.
"They were very, very hungry. They knocked us back there when they made their run in the first half, and I thought we were incredibly tentative with our inability to make a shot," Capel said. "That affected us on both ends of the floor."
Fitzgerald kept Oklahoma in the game by scoring the team's first 10 points of the second half, but North Carolina Central led by as many as six after Fitzgerald went to the bench with his fourth foul.
North Carolina Central, which is reclassifying from Division II to Division I, was trying to snap a 40-game losing streak on the road and nearly pulled it off against an Oklahoma team coming off a losing season and with nine newcomers on the roster.
"I think it's natural with a young team, a team that's still trying to figure out who they are with so many new guys. I think there's probably, maybe, some insecurities there," Capel said. "I'm constantly saying to our guys to lose yourself into the team, lose yourself into the next play. I think the quicker we can learn how to do that, we'll start to grow. I thought we did that in overtime."
Before then, the Sooners were in jeopardy of losing for just the third time in 81 nonconference games since 1999.
If it can keep its level of play up, North Carolina Central will have more chances to make a splashy win. The Eagles play at Miami and Indiana in the next eight days and also at Air Force and Michigan later this season.
"If nothing else, our guys believe that they can play with some of the top conferences and some of the upper-echelon schools in the country," said Moton, a former AAU teammate of Capel.
"Now, we've probably gotten the attention of some more big-time schools, so they're not going to take us lightly. They're going to prepare as if they're preparing for a conference foe."