Lawrence, KS — It was an unlikely hero that came up big for No. 3 Kansas in their 87-70 victory over Oklahoma Saturday afternoon, extending their winning streak to 10 games.
Junior guard Marcus Garrett averages only 9.2 points per game and is shooting 28% from beyond the arc this season. But, today he finished with 24 points shooting 6-9 from three-point land, both career-highs.
While he carried the load, the Jayhawks as a team lit it up from 3-point land shooting 11-22 on the afternoon. They entered Saturday’s game shooting 34% on the season from beyond the arc, but guards Isaiah Moss and Ochai Agbaji pitched in with a couple of big three-pointers each.
Despite the slow start, the Sooners were able to hang with the Jayhawks in the first half and found themselves in the lead at the five-minute mark. But Kansas finished the half on a 17-5 run giving them a 41-32 lead at halftime.
Kansas center Udoka Azubuike and forward David McCormack caused problems all afternoon for the Sooners big men. Azubuike had 10 rebounds at the half, five of those being offensive and finished the game with 17 rebounds, four blocks and 15 points.
Sophomore guard Devon Dotson had a great first half for Kansas as he led the team with 13 points and shot 50% from the field. He finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and shot 5-5 from the free-throw line.
For the Sooners, senior Kristian Doolittle did all he could to keep his team in the game. He led the offensive charge and finished with 27 points and shot 5-8 from the 3-point arc.
The second-highest scorer for Oklahoma was guard Austin Reaves who had only 12 points and shot 28% from the field. As a team, they shot 35% from the field and 33% from beyond the arc, which wasn’t far off from their season averages, yet they didn’t have the firepower to hang with Kansas.
The two teams were fairly even in all categories except in shooting percentages and rebounds. The Jayhawks outrebounded the Sooners 46-35 and shot 48% from the field.
Azubuike sparked a 16-8 Kansas run to start the second half, scoring or assisting on six points. The Jayhawks defense forced the Sooners to settle for a lot of contested long-range shots.
However, the Sooners wouldn’t go down without a fight. They responded with a 12-2 run to cut the deficit back to 10 points.
However, Kansas was able to weather the storm and cruise to victory thanks to their 14 second-chance points which really deflated Oklahoma’s defense in the second half.
Up next for the Jayhawks, a match at home versus Iowa State on Monday, February 17th. For the Sooners, their next game will be at home against the #1 team in the nation in Baylor come Monday night.