- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 15, 2008

NO. 12 OKLAHOMA 83, AMERICAN 54: Blake Griffin had 24 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to lead the Sooners to a victory over the Eagles in Norman, Okla., on Friday night.

The Sooners, who shot 53.8 percent from the field, have won 22 of their last 24 season openers, including six in a row.

The 6-foot-10 Griffin, who opted to return for his sophomore season with the Sooners instead of jumping into the NBA, wasn’t perfect - he went only 5-for-14 from the free throw line - but he went 9-for-11 from the field, including his first career 3-pointer. The preseason All-American also dominated on the boards to finish with his 11th career double-double in 34 games.

American (0-1) returned three starters - including Patriot League preseason player of the year Garrison Carr - from a team that went 21-12 and pushed Tennessee last season in a first-round NCAA tournament game. The Eagles also were the preseason pick to win their conference title.

But they struggled from the outset against a quicker, taller Oklahoma team picked by Big 12 coaches as the conference’s preseason favorite.

VIRGINIA TECH 65, GARDNER-WEBB 62: A.D. Vassallo and Jeff Allen each scored 19 points for the Hokies as they held off the Runnin’ Bulldogs in Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia Tech (1-0) jumped out to a 10-2 lead and held a comfortable 40-26 margin at halftime. The Runnin’ Bulldogs (0-1) outscored the Hokies 36-25 in the second half, mostly on a 9-0 run that began with 5:20 remaining.

Gardner-Webb cut the lead to 63-62 with 24 seconds left on two Aaron Linn free throws.

Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney, who was fouled on the next possession, answered with a pair of free throws one second later. Gardner-Webb’s Grayson Flittner, who led all scorers with 21 points, missed a pair of 3-pointers in the waning seconds. Linn missed his own 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Virginia Tech is now 6-0 in season openers under coach Seth Greenberg.

GEORGE WASHINGTON 63, BOSTON UNIVERSITY 58 (OT): Damian Hollis scored five straight points as the Colonials overcame an overtime deficit to defeat the Terriers in Boston.

The Colonials blew an early 10-point lead and trailed by as many as six in the second half, but they led by two in the closing seconds. BU’s Corey Lowe, who suffered through a 2-for-15 shooting night, forced overtime on a layup with 2.1 seconds left.

Lowe then hit two free throws, and John Holland nailed a 3-pointer to put BU ahead 56-51 with 3:45 left in overtime.

But Wynton Witherspoon cut the lead to three, and Herman Opoku tied it on a 3-pointer with 2:04 left. Hollis then hit a free throw and two baskets for the Colonials.

TOWSON 86, NAVY 68: Josh Thornton matched his career high with 24 points, Jarrel Smith added 18 and the Tigers opened their season at home with a victory over the Midshipmen.

Brian Morris had 10 points and eight assists, and Calvin Lee contributed 10 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers (1-0), who improved to 7-2 all time against the Midshipmen (0-1).

Clif Colbert led Navy with 14 points. Kaleo Kina had 10 points, and Adam Teague grabbed 13 rebounds for the Mids.

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