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Oklahoma beats Notre Dame, 85-80 to open the Jimmy V Classic

NEW YORK (AP) Mike Brey couldn't help but be envious.

He watched as Lon Kruger was able to depend on experienced players in the late moments of a close contest.

It was a luxury Brey had not so long ago.

''An older team played older tonight,'' Brey said after Oklahoma outlasted Notre Dame, 85-80, in the first game of the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

''Oklahoma is an older group and they played older than us.''

Christian James scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Sooners, who improved to 7-1 with their third straight win. Brady Manek chipped in 17. Aaron Calixte finished with 12, and Matt Freeman 11.

''Proud of our guys,'' Kruger said. ''They hung in there.''

Despite an 18-point performance from TJ Gibbs, Notre Dame dropped to 6-2 with its first loss since Nov. 14. Juwan Durham and John Mooney had 15 each, and DJ Harvey finished with 11.

''The offensive flow is a work in progress for us,'' Brey said.

The first-ever meeting between the programs was a back-and-forth affair throughout.

Leading by seven at the start of the second half, Oklahoma extended its lead to 47-36 after Calixte knocked down a jumper.

The Irish replied with a 21-9 run, capped by a Durham dunk to close within 57-56.

Seconds after Durham's jam, a James layup allowed Oklahoma to push its lead to three, and the Sooners would lead by as many as seven following a Freeman 3. But the Irish would not go away, cutting the deficit to 78-77 after Prentiss Hubb's layup with 2:26 left.

That was as close as Notre Dame would come.

''We've been blessed with upperclassmen in all 20 of my years until this year,'' Brey said. ''I just (have) to remember to be patient and keep teaching and let guys blossom.''

James' jumper pushed the lead back to three, and he drilled a 3 to give the Sooners an 83-78 lead.

''They fought and battled,'' Kruger said.

Oklahoma outscored Notre Dame 12-6 in the final 4:26 of the first half and led 43-36 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE:

NOTRE DAME: The NCAA ranked the Irish as the third best 3-point shooting team in men's college basketball since the turn of the century, trailing only Duke and Belmont. Notre Dame's marksmanship behind the arc did not carry over to Madison Square Garden, as the Irish shot 28.0 (7 for 25) percent from 3.

OKLAHOMA: Coaches value having a go-to scorer and scoring depth. In his ninth year at Oklahoma, Kruger appears to have both. Entering Tuesday night's nationally televised game, senior guard Christian James led the team with 19.1 points per game, while Jamuni McNeace (9.9 PPG), Miles Reynolds (9.1 PPG), Aaron Calixte (9.0 PPG) and Brady Manek (8.9 PPG) have also contributed offensively.

UP NEXT:

NOTRE DAME: Travels to UCLA Saturday night.

OKLAHOMA: Hosts Wichita State Saturday.

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Key Players
T. Gibbs
C. James
31.7 Min. Per Game 31.7
19.1 Pts. Per Game 19.1
2.1 Ast. Per Game 2.1
3.9 Reb. Per Game 3.9
34.9 Field Goal % 52.4
28.8 Three Point % 42.6
69.4 Free Throw % 83.9
  Defensive rebound by Aaron Calixte 2.0
  Prentiss Hubb missed 3-pt. jump shot 4.0
  Defensive rebound by Nate Laszewski 7.0
  Aaron Calixte missed free throw 7.0
  Shooting foul on Rex Pflueger 8.0
  Defensive rebound by Aaron Calixte 6.0
  T.J. Gibbs missed 3-pt. jump shot 8.0
+ 1 Christian James made 2nd of 2 free throws 18.0
+ 1 Christian James made 1st of 2 free throws 18.0
  Personal foul on Prentiss Hubb 18.0
  Personal foul on T.J. Gibbs 19.0
Team Stats
Points 80 85
Field Goals 31-74 (41.9%) 32-68 (47.1%)
3-Pointers 7-25 (28.0%) 15-29 (51.7%)
Free Throws 11-19 (57.9%) 6-8 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 42 43
Offensive 12 7
Defensive 29 32
Team 1 4
Assists 13 19
Steals 7 3
Blocks 3 4
Turnovers 3 11
Fouls 13 18
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
25 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Notre Dame 6-2 364480
home team logo Oklahoma 7-1 434285
Team Stats
away team logo Notre Dame 6-2 68.7 PPG 39 RPG 12.8 APG
home team logo Oklahoma 7-1 71.3 PPG 41.1 RPG 12.6 APG
Key Players
10
T. Gibbs G 13.4 PPG 1.9 RPG 3.4 APG 34.7 FG%
0
C. James G 14.6 PPG 6.2 RPG 1.9 APG 41.1 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Gibbs G 18 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
C. James G 25 PTS 10 REB 3 AST
41.9 FG% 47.1
28.0 3PT FG% 51.7
57.9 FT% 75.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Gibbs 18 3 3 6/16 4/7 2/3 3 35 0 0 0 1 2
J. Mooney 15 14 0 6/12 1/2 2/2 1 22 0 0 0 6 8
D. Harvey 11 3 1 4/11 0/4 3/4 1 23 0 0 1 0 3
P. Hubb 4 2 3 2/9 0/4 0/2 2 32 1 0 1 0 2
R. Pflueger 2 6 6 1/6 0/3 0/2 3 33 3 0 0 1 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Gibbs 18 3 3 6/16 4/7 2/3 3 35 0 0 0 1 2
J. Mooney 15 14 0 6/12 1/2 2/2 1 22 0 0 0 6 8
D. Harvey 11 3 1 4/11 0/4 3/4 1 23 0 0 1 0 3
P. Hubb 4 2 3 2/9 0/4 0/2 2 32 1 0 1 0 2
R. Pflueger 2 6 6 1/6 0/3 0/2 3 33 3 0 0 1 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Durham 15 3 0 7/8 0/0 1/2 1 15 0 3 1 1 2
D. Goodwin 8 5 0 2/4 1/1 3/4 1 23 1 0 0 2 3
N. Laszewski 7 5 0 3/6 1/3 0/0 1 14 1 0 0 1 4
R. Carmody 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0
N. Djogo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nelligan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Doherty - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 80 41 13 31/74 7/25 11/19 13 200 7 3 3 12 29
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. James 25 10 3 10/19 3/8 2/2 4 36 0 0 1 1 9
B. Manek 17 8 1 6/10 5/8 0/0 1 36 0 0 1 1 7
A. Calixte 12 3 4 5/5 2/2 0/1 0 25 0 0 4 0 3
M. Reynolds 9 4 3 2/9 1/3 4/4 1 29 1 0 1 2 2
K. Doolittle 6 3 0 3/5 0/0 0/0 4 18 1 0 1 0 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. James 25 10 3 10/19 3/8 2/2 4 36 0 0 1 1 9
B. Manek 17 8 1 6/10 5/8 0/0 1 36 0 0 1 1 7
A. Calixte 12 3 4 5/5 2/2 0/1 0 25 0 0 4 0 3
M. Reynolds 9 4 3 2/9 1/3 4/4 1 29 1 0 1 2 2
K. Doolittle 6 3 0 3/5 0/0 0/0 4 18 1 0 1 0 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Freeman 11 4 1 4/8 3/6 0/0 3 16 0 2 0 0 4
J. Bieniemy 3 1 4 1/5 1/2 0/0 2 16 1 0 1 0 1
R. Odomes 2 5 3 1/6 0/0 0/1 2 14 0 0 1 3 2
T. Lazenby - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Polla 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 10 0 1 1 0 1
J. McNeace - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Reaves - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Geha - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Streller - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Kuath - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Stephenson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 85 39 19 32/68 15/29 6/8 18 200 3 4 11 7 32