LAWRENCE, Kan. – There’s a reason Kansas has now won at least a share of 10 consecutive Big 12 regular season conference championships. But there’s also a reason why Oklahoma isn’t as far off from reaching that sort of level as some think.
No. 5 KU repeatedly hit the Sooners in the mouth. OU was staggered, never knocked out but could never make the final push in losing 83-75 to the Jayhawks on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
OU was down 15-4 early but rallied back to take the lead. All that seemed to go for not when the Jayhawks closed the half with a 10-0 run to take a 42-33 into intermission.
The Sooners responded again. But then OU’s Ryan Spangler and Cameron Clark both had three fouls with 13:59 left in the game and trailing 49-46. Still there was no quit as OU took the lead on several occasions before Kansas finished strong in the final minutes.
Clark, who scored a career high 32 points in the teams’ first meeting, led the Sooners with 18 points this time around. Sophomore guard Buddy Hield added 16 points and freshman guard Jordan Woodard had 10 points and six assists.
OU was down 62-61 with under eight minutes left but was unable to get a defensive stop or offensive conversion to push the Jayhawks one final time.
The game never got out of reach after that early start by Kansas as it featured eight ties and six lead changes. Kansas did have its way with OU on the glass, outrebounding the Sooners 40-29.
Spangler had nine points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Je’lon Hornbeak had five assists coming off the bench.
The Sooners (20-8, 9-6) return to Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday afternoon to take on 24th-ranked Texas. Not only is it the basketball edition of the Red River Rivalry, but it is junior day for OU football which will mean a lot of top recruits will be on hand.