LAS VEGAS -- Washington's fast start almost turned into a heartbreaking finish.
Jernard Jarreau scored 12 points, and No. 16 Washington held on for a 69-67 victory over No. 15 Oklahoma on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Showcase.
"At the outset of the season, I talked about being sneaky old, but we have some guys that hadn't played college basketball for one game," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. "When you are in a position like this, if you are together and have a belief in one another, you are capable of pulling off something we've been able to do."
The Huskies (10-0) led by as many as 20 in the first half, but scored only three points in the final 4:01 of the game. Jordan Woodard had a look at a potential winning jumper for the Sooners (7-3), but it rattled out and Andrew Andrews grabbed the rebound.
"We were trying to get that one last stop and secure the rebound," Anderson said of the final possession. "We knew if we did that, the game was ours."
Washington raced out to a 37-17 lead and led 40-27 at the break. The Sooners shot 37 percent (12-for-32) in the first half.
But Oklahoma came out strong in the second half. Thomas made two foul shots to trim the Huskies' lead to 66-64 with 3:40 to go.
Upshaw missed two free throws with 1:22 remaining, and Thomas made a jumper from the right side to get Oklahoma within one with 59 seconds left. After Andrews and Woodard each missed, Andrews made a foul shot with 1 second left to account for the final margin.
"Credit Washington; good play out of them," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "But in the last five minutes of the first half, we turned the momentum a little bit. We played much better in the second half. There's a lot to learn. We had a poor [first] 15 minutes, but a good last 25."
It was a return to Las Vegas for Kruger, who coached UNLV to a 161-71 record over seven seasons. The Rebels went to the NCAA tournament in four of Kruger's last five seasons.
Washington: The Huskies shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Sooners 36-35. ... Nigel Williams-Goss had eight points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. ... Washington's reserves outscored Oklahoma's backups 24-4.
Oklahoma: It was the Sooners' first trip to Las Vegas since January 1989, when they upset then-No. 13 UNLV. The Sooners are 3-5 in Las Vegas.
Washington hosts Tulane on Monday.
Oklahoma hosts Weber State on Monday.
Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and country music singer Toby Keith were courtside. Abdul-Jabbar held a halftime press conference about surviving cancer and basketball in general. Meanwhile, Keith was cheering on his Sooners.
- Hal Lusk
- John Higgins
- Kipp Kissinger