James’ career-high 29 leads Oklahoma past Texas RGV 91-76
EDINBURG, Texas (AP) — Christian James scored a career-high 29 points to help Oklahoma defeat Texas Rio Grande Valley 91-76 on Friday night.
Aaron Calixte scored 15 points and Brady Manek had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Sooners in their season opener.
It was Oklahoma’s first regular-season game since Trae Young left early for the NBA. Young led the nation in scoring and assists last season as a freshman.
Lesley Varner, Jr. led Rio Grande Valley with 16 points. Tyson Smith scored 14 points, Terry Winn III scored 13 and Javon Levi added 12 for the Vaqueros (1-1).
James scored 17 points in the first half to help the Sooners take a 43-31 lead. The Sooners scored the first five points to start the second half. A dunk by Kristian Doolittle put the Sooners up 48-31.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger began his coaching career at Texas Pan American, which changed its name to Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2015.
UTRGV: The Vaqueros were competitive, especially in the first half, against a Power Five team, but they couldn’t close the gap after the break. They were trying to build momentum after a season-opening win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Tuesday.
Oklahoma: The Sooners got solid all-around production, but poor shooting, from their ballhandling guards in their first game since Young left for the NBA. Calixte had three assists, freshman Jamal Bieniemy had four assists and Miles Reynolds made 6 of 6 free throws. Calixte made 4 of 7 shots, but Bieniemy missed both his shots and Reynolds went 0 for 5 from the field.
Texas Rio Grande Valley plays at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday
Oklahoma plays at Texas San Antonio on Monday.
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