CONWAY, SC — Oklahoma survived East Carolina’s upset bid for a 79-74 win in the first-round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Thursday night in the HTC Center at Coastal Carolina.
The Pirates (3-1) trailed 61-49 with 11 minutes left but closed within 73-69 with 2:21 to go on a 3-pointer by Tremont Robinson-White.
A three by Tristen Newton cut the lead to 77-74 with 13 seconds remaining before the Sooners (3-0) got two free throws from Duke transfer Jordan Goldwire with five seconds remaining for the final margin.
“We did a lot of good things,” said ECU coach Joe Dooley. “But we’ve got to finish things out.”
Both teams shot well from the field. ECU made 27 of 51 attempts for 52.9 percent, including seven of 19 beyond the arc for 36.8 percent.
Oklahoma was 25 of 48 from the floor for 52.1 percent, making eight of 21 from long distance for 38.1 percent.
The Pirates made 13 of 20 free throws (65 percent) while the Sooners were 21 of 27 at the line (77.8 percent).
Newton led the Pirates with 18 points. Brandon Suggs had 14 points. Robinson-White added 12. Suggs had six assists. Ludgy Debaut had six rebounds for ECU.
J.J. Miles had nine points in the loss. Debaut and Alanzo Frink netted eight each.
Goldwire and Umoja Gibson led five Sooners into double figures with 13 points apiece
The Pirates take on Old Dominion on Friday (7:30 p.m., ESPNU) in a second round matchup. The Monarchs (2-2) were routed by Indiana State 77-36 in Thursday’s final first-round game.