Oklahoma joins St. Louis in finals of 76 Classic
Oklahoma survived a late rally by Santa Clara and advanced to the finals of the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center with an 85-73 victory over the Broncos on Friday night.
The Sooners (4-0) opened a 42-19 at halftime but Santa Clara (3-2) pulled to within six points in the final two minutes. It is the second year in a row a team coached by Lon Kruger will play in the finals. Last year Kruger led UNLV to the title.
Oklahoma will play St. Louis at 6 p.m. PST on Sunday in the championship game while Santa Clara will face Villanova in the third-place game at 3:30.
In the loss, Santa Clara's Kevin Foster set a new school record for career three-point baskets. The old record-holder? Steve Nash with 263. Foster hit three three-pointers against Oklahoma and now has 265 for his career. Nash sent congratulations to Foster via Twitter even before the game was over.
"It's too bad it didn't happen for Kevin in a win," Santa Clara Coach Kerry Keating said. "We took a punch in the first half that we didn't respond to. But we didn't quit, which is the thing I'm most proud of tonight because we're going to be in a dogfight in a lot of games this year."
Steven Pledger scored 26 points to lead Oklahoma.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Santa Clara forward John McArthur challenges a shot by Oklahoma forward Romero Osby in the first half Friday night in Anaheim. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire