PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – It looked like Oklahoma had the game against the state of Oregon well in hand, but the Beavers were surprisingly resilient.
Kristian Doolittle had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Sooners increased their season-opening winning streak to three games, with a 77- 69 win over Beavers at the inaugural Phil Knight Invitational on Tuesday night.
With less than 20 points in the second half, Beavers reached six points in the final minute.
"Both teams competed a lot," said Lon Kruger, Oklahoma coach. "In the second half we had a small margin and of course Oregon State did a great job of fighting back and finishing the game."
Tres Tinkle overcame a slow start to finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers (2-1).
After a tight first half, Doolittle's three points gave Sooners a 66-46 lead with 7:12 remaining. The beavers showed some spark with a 7-0 run that closed the gap to 66-53.
Austin Reaves sank a 3-point pointer that gave Oklahoma a 71-57 lead with 3:49 left and it looked like the Beavers were out of it, but Ethan Thompson's 3-pointer pulled them within 73-67 with 35, 8 seconds to the end. Ultimately, the state of Oregon failed to overcome the deficit.
"Big effort to try to fight back in the end," said Oregon state coach Wayne Tinkle, who said he brought the team together with about eight minutes left to try to inspire a comeback.
Reaves finished 17 points in Oklahoma, while Thompson scored 17 in Beavers.
It was the site's second neutral game in Oklahoma. Sooners were winning 71-62 over Minnesota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Saturday.
Reaves, who missed out last season after relocating from Wichita state, joined Tuesday's game with an average of 17 points. Doolittle, meanwhile, is the only beginner of the Sooners.
The beavers were coming off an 80-74 home win on Saturday over the state of Iowa. Tinkle led with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Tinkle earned Pac-12's first honors as Best Player of the Week of the season after double doubling in the first two Beavers games. The 6-foot 7-foot Tinkle was an all-Pac-12 team last season and explored early entry into the NBA Draft, but finally decided to return to his senior year with his father.
Sooners effectively closed it, at least in the beginning, and he had only four points in the first half.
“Credit to them. Every team we face will try to get me and Ethan out of the game, ”said young Tinkle.
Oregon State led by five points in the first half after Thompson landed a couple of free throws to reach 19-14. But for the most part, half the opening was tight and Doolittle's jumper with a second left gave Sooners a 33-32 lead at halftime.
The Reaves 3-point hand raised Oklahoma's lead to 42-38 early in the second half, but Thompson responded with his own 3 for the Beavers.
Reaves and Jamal Bieniemy made 3s in a row to put the Sooners at 50-41 with 13:07 remaining. Doolittle's 3-point hand increased the lead to 55-43 with less than 10 minutes to play.
Fourteenth place Oregon defeated Memphis No. 13 82-74 in the previous double-header game at the Portland Fashion Center.
Oklahoma: The Sooners visited Oregon two years ago at the 16-team PK80 tournament at Moda Center. PK Invitational is a follow-up event that will take place until 2021, in honor of Nike's co-founder. … Oklahoma won six in a row against Pac-12 opponents. … Earlier, striker Jalen Hill returned after being out of Saturday's game because of the concussion protocol.
Oregon State: Tinkle's sequence of seven straight three-point games ended when he passed 0 to 4 of the perimeter. … The beavers are now 0-5 against Oklahoma. The last meeting before Tuesday took place in 2000.
The Sooners were not pleased with the lack of brightness in the first half. “We just realized, you know, that we have to accelerate to win the game. We had some mental lapses during the first half – not to mention switches – and just realizing that if we want to be successful, we need to stop, have a defensive sound and let everything else get under control, "Doolittle said.
Oklahoma: The Sooners returns home to face William and Mary on Monday.
Oregon State: Beavers take the road for the first time with a game in Wyoming on Saturday.
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