Kansas basketball: Jayhawks edge No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners 76-72

By The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 13, 2016 at 6:25 PM
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NORMAN, Okla. -- The first meeting of the season between the Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners was the Buddy Hield show.

Saturday in the rematch, it was the Devonte' Graham of the Jayhawks who took over.

Graham scored 27 points as No. 6 Kansas beat the No. 3 Sooners 76-72 at Lloyd Noble Center.

Oklahoma had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but Isaiah Cousins' 3-pointer missed the mark and Jamari Traylor hit a free throw to close it out as Kansas basketball stayed in a tie with West Virginia for the Big 12 Conference lead.

Graham was 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point line while Frank Mason III added 14 points and Perry Ellis had 10, all in the first half.

Hield, who was held without a field goal in the first half, scored 24 points. The senior hit five second-half 3-pointers. In the first meeting, a 109-106 triple-overtime win by the Jayhawks, Hield scored 46.

Cousins added 21 points.

Graham had a chance to nearly put the game away with just less than a minute left, but his 3-pointer bounced off the rim and after a scramble, Cousins corralled the ball to give the Sooners life.

But Hield's free throw that could have tied it with 25 seconds left missed the mark and Graham answered by getting to the line and hitting his shots to force the Sooners to attempt a 3-pointer.

Cousins was in the middle of a deep slump in the teams' first meeting, hitting only 2-of-14 shots.

But with Hield quiet until after halftime, Cousins kept the Sooners in it. Hield was 0-for-6 from the field before halftime.

Oklahoma came into the game scoring nearly 40 percent of its points from behind the 3-point line, but couldn't hit much of anything from deep early.

The Sooners missed their first nine 3-point shots before Cousins buried one more the 12 minutes into the game. By that time, Kansas led by double digits thanks to quick starts by Graham and Ellis.

The Jayhawks stretched their early lead to 14 but eight first-half turnovers by Kansas kept the game from getting out of hand.

The Sooners, though, couldn't take much advantage, scoring only two points off of those turnovers before the break.

But as the half wore on, Oklahoma started attacking the basket more and started not only getting to the free-throw line but getting the Jayhawks into foul trouble.

The Sooners chipped away at the lead by going 15-of-18 from the line in the first half, while five Kansas players were called for two or more fouls.

Oklahoma hasn't gotten much scoring from its bench this season, but in the closing second of the half, with Hield on the bench with two fouls, Christian James hit a corner 3-pointer to pull the Sooners to within five at the break, 38-33.

NOTES: Jamuni McNeace, who wasn't in the regular rotation for the Sooners for much of the season, was the first forward off the bench for the second consecutive game. ... Kansas hosts Oklahoma State on Monday. The Jayhawks lost to the Cowboys 86-67 on the road Jan. 19. ... Oklahoma returns to action Wednesday at Texas Tech. The Sooners beat the Red Raiders 91-67 at home on Jan. 26.

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