Sooners beat 20th ranked Gonzaga

12-20-07 - Longar Longar scored 16 points, including the go-ahead basket, and Oklahoma overcame a scintillating performance by Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo to upset the No. 18 Bulldogs 72-68 Thursday night.

For a time, it appeared Pargo would will Gonzaga (9-3) to victory with the most impressive performance of his career but he ran dry with just enough time for Oklahoma (9-3) to rally.

Pargo hit five straight shots and scored all of the Zags' points during a 12-5 surge that propelled Gonzaga into the lead late in the second half but then couldn't connect in crunch time to finish the game.

After Pargo's airball on a 3-pointer from the right wing, Oklahoma took a 67-66 lead on Longar's right-handed hook shot in the lane with 1:38 remaining and then hit enough free throws down the stretch to hang on.

Pargo, who scored a career-high 28 points, had two final chances to tie it. After Blake Griffin hit one of two free throws to give Oklahoma a 70-68 lead, Pargo charged under the basket and missed a layup underneath with 12 seconds left.

He had another opportunity when David Godbold also hit only one of two at the foul line, but Austin Johnson blocked Pargo's 3-point try, tracked down the loose ball and then hit one free throw with 0.2 seconds left to provide the final margin.

Griffin and Tony Crocker each scored 15 points, and Griffin had 14 rebounds as Oklahoma won its second straight game after a disappointing loss to Stephen F. Austin.

Neither team was able to pull ahead in a game that was tied 14 times and had 16 lead changes.

Following a driving layup and a 3-pointer by Pargo, the Bulldogs built their biggest lead at 46-41 before allowing Oklahoma to counter with a 17-8 run that concluded with Griffin's tip-in for a four-point lead.

That's when Pargo took over again. He converted a layup and then back-to-back 3-pointers in a personal 8-0 spurt that put Gonzaga up 62-58 and then answered a pair of Oklahoma baskets to keep the Bulldogs in front.

But eventually, he ran out of steam. Playing the full 40 minutes, Pargo finished 11-for-18 from the field and made 4-for-8 from 3-point range.

Gonzaga continued to get closer to full strength, with Matt Bouldin (ankle) returning after missing the Zags' last game and Josh Heytvelt (ankle) making his first appearance of the season.

Heytvelt, Gonzaga's top returning scorer, was suspended the final nine games of last season for drug possession and then had surgery in November to fix a stress fracture in his right ankle.

He went 2-for-7 and scored five points in 15 minutes.


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