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Jayhawks Sprint Past Sooners

KU Athletics ReleaseFebruary 20, 2018

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Six Jayhawks in double figures, 16 3-pointers and a 61 percent shooting clip highlighted an offensive clinic as No. 8/8 Kansas flew past the Oklahoma Sooners, 104-74, Monday night inside Allen Fieldhouse. Senior Devonte’ Graham led all scorers with 23 points as he and the KU defense held the NCAA’s top scorer, Trae Young, to 11 points, the freshman phenom’s lowest scoring output of the season.

The win moved Kansas to 22-6 and gave KU a half-game lead in the league standings with an 11-4 mark in Big 12 play. Oklahoma dropped its sixth-straight game and went to 16-11 in its 2017-18 campaign and 6-9 in the conference.

Any momentum built during the Jayhawks’ 76-69 win over West Virginia Saturday night was carried over into Monday, with Kansas jumping on the Sooners right from the opening tip-off. KU connected on seven of its first nine shots, three of which were from 3-point range, to stick the Sooners in an early hole. Graham scored eight of those early points and his runner in the lane at the 14:29 mark saw his team out to a commanding 18-4 lead less than six minutes into the contest.

The KU defense was also locked in early, holding the league’s top-scoring offense to just two field goals over the first 7:38 of the game. The Jayhawks were able to handcuff Young to just four points in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Graham found sophomore Mitch Lightfoot on an alley-oop dunk to push the Kansas lead to 20-4 at the 13:08 mark before the Oklahoma offense started to find its rhythm.

The Sooners outscored KU 9-5 over the next three minutes; however, the Jayhawk shooters were still boasting a lethal touch from outside. Lagerald Vick, Malik Newman and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each hit treys over the next four minutes to keep the visitors at arm’s length.

After holding OU silent from beyond the 3-point line for much of the first half, the Sooners found their range at the end of the opening frame to decrease their deficit by the break. Oklahoma hit three 3-pointers over the final 3:19 to cut the Jayhawk lead to 10 points at the intermission, 49-39.

The Sooners came out of the locker room with some fire, scoring the first three points of the half and cutting the KU lead to seven, 49-42, less than 20 seconds into the second stanza.

But that is as close as Oklahoma would get, as the Jayhawks once again caught fire. Kansas responded with a 12-4 run to get its lead back to double-figures. Oklahoma mustered one more run, a 6-0 stretch that cut KU’s lead to nine points, but the Jayhawk offense wouldn’t slow down.

Vick’s third 3-pointer of the game kick-started a 16-5 Jayhawk run over the next four minutes to push KU’s lead to double figures permanently. Graham capped that stretch with his 269th-career 3-pointer, which moved him to No. 2 on KU’s all-time 3-point chart, and gave Kansas its first 20-point lead of the night, 77-57, with 11:13 remaining.

Silvio DeSousa was big lift for his team during that Kansas run, scoring six of his career-high 10 points within 65 seconds, which was highlighted by an emphatic alley-oop dunk that got the 16,300 fans in attendance on their feet. The freshman ended the game with career highs in points (10), rebounds (six) and minutes (13).

After DeSousa’s heroics, sophomore Udoka Azubuike entered the game and kept the KU offense rolling. He tallied two buckets within 21 seconds to start another impressive KU stretch that saw the Jayhawks end the game outscoring Oklahoma 27-12 over the final 8:47 of regulation. In that span, Kansas sunk three more 3-pointers to bring the night’s total to 16, its second-most ever in a conference game.

The Jayhawks’ final trey of the contest came off the hands of Newman with 2:37 to play and put KU over the century mark, leading 100-70. It was the first time Kansas had scored 100 or more points against a conference foe since the Jayhawks’ and Sooners’ epic triple-overtime game on Jan. 2, 2016, a 109-106 KU win.

A one-handed dunk from reserve guard Sam Cunliffe with just over a minute to play was a fitting end to Kansas’ offensive explosion. Kansas concluded the game having shot a blistering 60.9 percent (39-of-64) from the field to notch its largest league victory since the 2016 season, topping the Sooners 104-74.

Graham led all scorers with 23 points, his ninth time over the 20-point plateau this season. He was followed closely by Newman, who hit four 3-pointers and added seven rebounds and four assists. Vick and Mykhailiuk combined to go 12-of-21 from the field and notched 17 and 16 points, respectively. Azubuike and De Sousa rounded out KU’s double-figure scorers with 10 apiece. The two big men also combined for 14 rebounds.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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