Nov. 18, 2008

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Blake Griffin scored 25 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds, freshman Willie Warren added 20 points and No. 12 Oklahoma overcame the highest scoring game of Stephen Curry's career to beat No. 21 Davidson 82-78 on Tuesday night.

Curry tried to will his team back from a 21-point deficit in the second half, and got the Wildcats within three points with a 3-pointer in the final minute.

But Griffin, a fellow preseason All-America, snagged a key offensive rebound to help the Sooners close it out with three free throws by Cade Davis.

Curry scored 44 points on 12-for-29 shooting and went 6-for-15 from 3-point range.

The Sooners advanced to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off next week in New York.

With former NBA first-round picks Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder watching from courtside seats, all eyes were on the two stars.

After Curry hit the opening basket of the second half to get Davidson within two, Oklahoma throttled down with a 23-4 run. Warren had six straight points and cupped his right hand to his ear to play to the crowd after the Wildcats called a timeout with the Sooners' lead at 10.

Griffin then added eight straight points, including three dunks to get the fans even more pumped. After Davis set up the third dunk with a steal, the two bumped chests and slapped five at midcourt at the start of another timeout. Davis then hit a 3-pointer from the right corner that made it 61-40.

But Curry wouldn't go down without a fight. He scored nine points during Davidson's 14-0 response that cut the lead to 61-54 and then got it even closer in the closing moments.

He set up Brendan McKillop for a 3-pointer from the right side to get the Wildcats within 79-73 with 1:41 to play, and then nailed a 3 from the left corner to cut the deficit in half.

Tony Crocker missed a 3-pointer at the other end for the Sooners, but Griffin leaped to get the carom on the opposite side and got the ball to Davis.

Griffin, who passed up the chance to jump to the NBA after his freshman year, became the first Sooner with more than 20 rebounds in a game since Ernie Abercrombie had 22 against Mississippi State in 1996.

Taylor Griffin added 16 points and, along with Warren, helped pace Oklahoma until his older brother came on with 21 points in the second half.

Andrew Lovedale had 10 points and was the only other player in double figures for Davidson, which stuck around by only committing five turnovers against the deeper and taller Sooners.

Oklahoma had a 43-31 advantage on the boards but committed 17 turnovers.

Warren, who had missed the first 10 3-pointers of his college career, made three of them as the Sooners turned an early five-point deficit into a 21-14 lead with a 19-7 run.

Curry kept the Wildcats in it by scoring 17 of their 20 points during one stretch, but his teammates were able to stay within striking distance even after he went to the bench with three fouls at the 6:16 mark.

Davidson went 1-for-9 from the field and missed two of its four free throws the rest of the half, but Oklahoma still only stretched its lead to 38-34.