No. 5 Kansas holds off No. 23 Oklahoma 70-63

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The mantra at Kansas is “faces change, expectations don’t.”

One thing else that doesn’t change? Oklahoma dropping in Allen Fieldhouse.

Dedric Lawson had 13 factors and 15 rebounds, Kansas’ younger backcourt made sufficient essential performs when it mattered, and the fifth-ranked Jayhawks started pursuit of their 15th consecutive Huge 12 title by holding off the No. 23 Sooners 70-63 on Wednesday night time.

Devon Dotson added 16 factors and fellow freshman Quentin Grimes had 14 for Kansas (12-1, 1-0), which survived a nervy last minute to win its 18th straight towards Oklahoma within the Phog.

“We don’t need any video games to slide away from us,” Grimes mentioned, “particularly at house.”

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The final time Kansas misplaced its preliminary Huge 12 sport was towards Oklahoma on Jan. 8, 1991.

The Sooners (11-2, 0-1) almost turned the trick once more Wednesday night time, rallying nearly each time the Jayhawks went on a run. And when Charlie Moore missed two free throws within the last minute, Aaron Calixte’s off-balance runner obtained them inside 67-63 with 31 seconds to go.

Dotson made the second of two foul pictures on the different finish for Kansas, and when Calixte and Kristian Doolittle got here up empty for Oklahoma, Dotson made two extra free throws to seal the win.

“We had some alternatives,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger mentioned, “we simply didn’t end.”

Lagerald Vick contributed 12 factors for the Jayhawks, regardless of an off night time taking pictures the ball. He was 2 of seven from past the arc, the place the Jayhawks had been simply four of 21 as a staff.

Brady Manek led the Sooners with 16 factors and 11 rebounds. Doolittle added 10 factors and Christian James had 11, although he was simply four of 15 from the sector and 1 of seven from past the arc.

“Bought to maintain the ball extra,” Manek mentioned. “Thought we performed higher within the second half.”

The Jayhawks obtained off to a gradual begin, however Dotson’s layup halfway by way of the primary half catapulted them on a 15-Zero run. Most of it was fueled by protection, the place Udoka Azubuike swatted a shot and turnovers changed into straightforward fast-break alternatives. Dotson capped it with a 3-pointer from the wing.

Oklahoma briefly nipped into the lead, however the Jayhawks closed with a 12-Three cost — Lawson scored his first two area objectives after a 0-for-9 begin — to take a 40-25 lead into the break.

“I believed the primary half we ran properly. Most likely as effectively as we’ve run all yr,” Jayhawks coach Invoice Self mentioned. “The second half was a dud. There was no transition in any respect the second half.”

Certainly, the Sooners ramped up their protection, which had been holding opponents to 66.1 factors, and made their very own run early within the second half. The spotlight got here when Doolittle threw down an alley-oop dunk to wrap up a run of 9 straight factors over the opening 5 minutes.

Lawson offered a solution for the Jayhawks.

The preseason Huge 12 participant of the yr scored back-to-back baskets moments later. Then, after Dotson knocked down a Three off a reasonably help from Marcus Garrett, Lawson added one other basket to supply the Jayhawks a 58-45 lead and power Kruger to name for a timeout.

“I knew within the submit they had been doubling,” Lawson mentioned, “so I simply tried to really feel the place they had been doubling from. I obtained a few one-on-one alternatives and tried to make the most of it.”

Oklahoma obtained the deficit again to single digits by the ultimate media timeout, and saved the sport shut the remainder of the way in which. However the Jayhawks, regardless of lacking essential free throws, managed to hold on for his or her 28th consecutive Huge 12-opening win.

“You understand,” Self mentioned with a wry grin, “despite the fact that we didn’t do quite a lot of good issues, we’ve gained quite a lot of video games like tonight over the course of the years. You don’t play nice however you ensure the opposite staff doesn’t play fairly nearly as good as you do.”

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma had gained seven straight heading into the Phog, but the Sooners’ struggles within the venerable area home continued.

Kansas struggled from the perimeter however made up for it with protection and willpower. The Jayhawks tracked down unfastened balls, compelled the Sooners into 17 turnovers and made sufficient free throws to outlive.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma returns house for Bedlam towards Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Kansas visits Hilton Coliseum to face Iowa State on Saturday.

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Extra AP school basketball: http://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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