NORMAN — Aaryn Ellenberg’s jumper with 1:56 left in the game lifted No. 11 Oklahoma into a lead the Sooners could finally hold onto and turn away No. 25 Gonzaga 82-78 in a semifinal-round battle in the preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament Thursday.
The Sooners face No. 5 Louisville Sunday in the tournament’s championship game.
Gonzaga nursed a slim lead throughout most of the game. Oklahoma took a brief lead at 59-58 on a 3-pointer by Ellenberg with 12:29 remaining, but Lindsay Sherbert responded with a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs.
Ellenberg, who played the full 40 minutes for the Sooners (3-0), finished with 21 points. Kaylon Williams came off the bench to add 14 points, including five clutch free throws down the stretch to help the Sooners pull away.
Haiden Palmer had 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Gonzaga (2-1). Sherbert added 14 points off the bench.
Bacone 97, Mid-America 95 (OT)
The Bacone Warriors secured their first win of the season by holding off Mid-America Christian at the Palmer Center.
With the Warriors ahead 95-93 Derrick Thomas knocked down two free throws to put Bacone in front 97-93 with 11 seconds remaining.
The Evangels scored as time expiredm but it wasn't enough as Bacone grabbed the 97-95 win.
“We found a way to win tonight," head coach Alan Foster said. “We’ve been talking about we have to make enough winning plays to put us in a position to win and we did that tonight.”
For the game the Warriors knocked down 50 percent (33 of 66) and went 22 for 33 at the charity stripe.
Jeremy McClain led Bacone with 28 points and 14 boards while Christian Smith added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Creed Flowers chipped in 23 and Geo Brewer finished with 13.
Bacone (1-4) hosts McPherson College at 4 p.m. Saturday.