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MENS BASKETBALL


Kansas 78, Oklahoma 66

Kansas 78, Oklahoma 66

BY DAVID SMALE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kevin McCullar scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half as No. 3 Kansas surged past No. 9 Oklahoma 78-66, extending its winning streak over the Sooners to six games.

Hunter Dickinson led Kansas (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) with 24 points and 14 rebounds. KJ Adams had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Dajuan Harris had eight assists and no turnovers.

The Jayhawks committed two turnovers in the entire game, something the players said was an emphasis after combining for 35 in their last two games. Kansas coach Bill Self thought otherwise.

“I don’t know that we emphasize that nearly as much as what you guys (the media) think we do,” he said. “But we didn’t have to because the players all know.

“I thought we did a better job of taking care of the basketball. That’s probably about as well as we can take care of the ball. Two is a low number. We’re not good enough offensively to give away possessions. So our number needs to be under 10, or 10 or so.”

Kansas is looking for another offensive threat besides McCullar, Dickinson, Adams and Harris. On Saturday, those four were enough.

“Their ‘big four’ showed up and showed up big,” Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said. “We didn’t guard well enough the second half. We put a lot of pressure on our offense when (we) didn’t guard.”

Javian McCollum scored 17 points to lead Oklahoma (13-3, 1-2), which lost its second straight game. Milos Usan added 15 and Otego Oteh had 12.

Kansas finally grabbed a double-digit lead with 10:31 left on a pair of free throws by McCullar en route to opening a 16-point lead.

“I thought we played really well,” Self said. “Probably the best game we played, maybe since Connecticut (Dec. 1). That was probably the best game we played.”

For Dickinson, this type of effort is what he expects.

“We all knew that we dropped one (against UCF Wednesday),” he said. “You don’t get many chances like that, especially how competitive this league is. And so we knew we dropped one, and this game was gonna be big, not only because we just lost but we were playing a Top 10 team in the country.”

Oklahoma took its first lead when Jalon Moore followed a missed shot and slammed it home for a 27-26 advantage with 6:28 left in the first half. The teams traded leads the rest of the half, and Kansas led 38-37 lead at the break.

Adams led all scorers with 15 first-half points. Dickinson had 10 points. McCollum led the Sooners with 12 points.

THE TAKEAWAY

Oklahoma: The Sooners, who are leaving the Big 12 after this season, did not back down. After trailing by as many as 11 points, Oklahoma kept the game close until Kansas’ late spurt put the game away.

Kansas: Allen Fieldhouse is still tough on visiting teams. Kansas seems to find a way to feed off the crowd to win home games.


January 13, 2024





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