David Patrick’s Oklahoma stunned by St Bonaventure 70-68 in NIT second round
Bermudian associate head coach David Patrick’s postseason run with the University of Oklahoma ended prematurely when the overall No 1-seeded Sooners were dumped out of the National Invitational Tournament by St Bonaventure last night.
Jaren Holmes scored 23 points and Osun Osunniyi had a double-double as the Bonnies pulled off the upset 70-68 in the second-round match-up.
Holmes sank eight of 12 shots, including all four of his three-point attempts, as the Bonnies improved to 22-9. Osunniyi finished with 12 points and ten rebounds.
St Bonaventure, who finished fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference, never trailed against the Big 12 giants after Holmes hit a three-pointer with 5:24 remaining to give the Bonnies a 61-58 lead.
Umoja Gibson hit from beyond the arc to pull the Sooners within 69-68 with 18 seconds left, but Welch made the second of two free throws and Marvin Johnson missed a jumper that was snagged by Osunniyi to end the game.
Gibson hit six three-pointers and scored 26 to pace the Sooners (19-16). Gibson had 16 points in the first half to guide Oklahoma to a 36-33 lead at the break. Jalen Hill added 13 points.
It is a hugely disappointing end to the season for Oklahoma, who had felt hard done by a week earlier when they were excluded from NCAA Tournament selection.
Dropping into the NIT may have been a consolation, but the games still had to be won. St Bonaventure, six-point underdogs in Norman, jumped out to an early 10-2 lead and held the advantage until the Sooners surged at the end of the first half.
But the favoured side could never establish a vice grip on proceedings, trailing by as many as eight with ten minutes remaining. It was only through the timely interventions of Gibson that they kept it close, but the Bonnies had just enough at the end.
St Bonaventure booked a prestige date at Madison Square Garden next weekend for the quarter-finals, where they will meet Virginia, who knocked off second seed North Texas 71-69 in overtime.
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