Jayhawks hold off Sooners
Norman, OK (Sports Network) – Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers both netted 18
points, as the third-ranked Kansas Jayhawks improved their already stellar
record with a 67-65 win over the Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 play from the
Lloyd Noble Center.
Sasha Kaun posted 11 points and nine rebounds for Kansas (26-4, 13-2 Big
12), which currently owns a seven-game win streak and has scored at least 89
points four times during the current run. Wright and Chalmers combined to grab
15 rebounds for the Jayhawks, whose previous victory occurred on Saturday
by a score of 89-52 over Iowa State.
“This was the best scenario, but I wish we would have played better,” Kansas
coach Bill Self said. “This is the best scenario to have to win a game when
you don’t play well and have to grind it out. We had some key performers for
Nate Carter posted 20 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma (15-13, 6-9),
which suffered its fifth consecutive setback. Taylor Griffin added 12 points
for the Sooners, who are a solid 12-4 at home this season, but the last three
contests in Norman have resulted in defeat.
“We feel like we could have won the game,” Carter said. “They made some free
throws down the stretch that at first they were missing. They made a lot of
their free throws at the end of the game and they played hard.”
Michael Neal’s trey with 6:12 remaining in the second half capped a 12-3
Sooners run and tied things at 51. However, Kansas answered with an 11-4 run
capped by a pair of Brandon Rush free throws with 1:06 to go for a 62-55
Neal next got open on an x-cut and drilled a three with 43.4 seconds left to
make it a four-point game, 62-58.
Rush then converted a free throw at 35.3, but Longar Longar scored on a layup
to cut Oklahoma’s deficit to 63-60 with 25 seconds left.
Chalmers’ pair of free throws made it a two-possession game, 65-60, with 22.2
seconds on the clock. Bobby Maze then got open for a layup with 7.9 seconds
left to make it a three-point game, 65-62.
Russell Robinson went to the foul line and hit both free throws with 6.5
seconds remaining to seal the win, despite Tony Crocker’s three-pointer with
less than a second on the clock.
After Griffin’s dunk 16 seconds into the game, Kansas exploded on a 13-2 run,
capped by a Rush trey with 14:48 to establish early control. The Jayhawks
notched a commanding 33-19 halftime lead.
Kansas shot 22-for-49 (44.9 percent) from the floor, compared to 20-for-60
(33.3 percent) by the Sooners, who got outrebounded 41-36…Kansas owns a
commanding 131-64 lead in the all-time series with Oklahoma, and the Jayhawks
have won three of the last four meetings.