Mosley’s big night not enough in NIT loss


NORMAN – Isiaih Mosley broke a Missouri State NIT scoring record with 28 points, but it wasn’t enough as home-standing Oklahoma turned back the Bears, 89-72, with a strong second-half surge in the Tuesday’s first round matchup in the National Invitation Tournament at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Sooners (19-15) pulled away midway through the second half, using a 17-5 run over a five-minute stretch to extend a 50-45 lead to a 67-50 advantage with 12:33 to play. Umoja Gibson had six of his team-high 28 points in that spurt, and Missouri State would get no closer than 14 the rest of the night.

OU finished the game an even 33-for-66 from the field with Gibson accounting for five of his team’s dozen 3-pointers. Jordan Goldwire was also in double figures for the Sooners with 15 points and 8 assists, while Tanner Groves added 9 points and 9 rebounds.

Mosley snagged a game-high 10 rebounds for the Bears to secure his fifth double-double of the season and his third over the last five games. He also moved up to No. 2 on MSU’s single-season scoring list, finishing the campaign with 692 points and trailing only Winston Garland’s (1986-87) 720 points. His 28 points bounced Adam Leonard (2011) and his 26-point effort vs. Miami from the top spot on the Bears’ NIT single-game scoring list.

The Bears (23-11) also got a big night from senior Gaige Prim who scored 14 points, snagged 8 boards and dished out 4 assists while going 6-for-6 at the foul line. Prim finished his three-year stint in Springfield with 1,338 points and 627 rebounds in 86 games while closing out his tenure ranked 15th on the school’s career scoring list.

Also noteworthy was the effort of fellow senior Jaylen Minnett who cashed in on three 3-pointers against the Sooners in his final game to finish with 9 points. The IUPUI grad transfer racked up 359 career 3-pointers and 1,677 points in collegiate career.

In the first half, Mosley scored 22 points, knocking down 9-of-12 shots, to keep the Bears in it. Unfortunately for the upset-minded Bears Oklahoma’s 6-2 run in the final 30 seconds of the opening period put the Sooners up 47-41 at the midway point and stole the visitors’ early momentum.

The Bears led for more than nine minutes in the half and survived four ties and 10 lead changes, but OU’s seven first-half threes and a rare four-point play with 28 second left in the period pushed the home side ahead by six at the break.

Missouri State shot 48.5 percent from the field in the opening half and made 6-of-12 from long range, but struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the final 20 minutes, going 10-of-31 in the second half overall and just 3-for-12 from distance.

For the game, MoState finished 26-of-64 (.406) overall, 9-of-24 (.375) from 3-point range and 11-for-12 (.917) at the line with 35 rebounds and 11 turnovers. Mosley finished 11-for-20 from the field with 3 steals.

Oklahoma, which advances to play the winner of Wednesday’s Colorado-St. Bonaventure matchup, out-rebounded the Bears by a 38-35 margin and accumulated 14 second-chance points from its 10 offensive caroms. The Sooners were 11-for-13 (.846) at the line with 9 turnovers, 7 steals and 8 blocks.

As a team, the Bears eclipsed single-season records for total points (2,628), 3-pointers (283) and free throw percentage (.797), while boasting three players with 70 or more threes – Ja’Monta Black (77), Minnett (74) and Mosley (70) – for the first time in school history.

Mosley also secured his place as just the third NCAA Division I player in the last 30 years to average 20 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 from 3-point range and 90 at the line. His season line was 20.4 ppg, .504 FG%, .427 3-pt FG%, and .902 FT%.

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