The Oklahoma Sooners closed the first half on a 24-6 run against the Kansas Jayhawks. Holding their opponent to 27 points through the first 20 minutes of play, I’m willing to make the statement that Jordan Woodard makes a world of difference. The senior guard returned to action after missing a string of games providing a boost of confidence for the rest of the team. Behind the run, Oklahoma enjoyed a 36-27 lead heading into the locker room.
However, Frank Mason III and the Jayhawks answered the challenge with a 20-6 run to begin the second half regaining the lead. Connecting on numerous 3-point attempts as well as easy buckets at the rim, KU maintained a manageable margin of 74-64 at the final TV Timeout.
Undeniably the second half belonged to Mason III who finished with a game high 29 points securing an 81-70 win in Norman over the Sooners. Josh Jackson added another 16 points of his own while proving himself as a hustle player diving for ball after ball. Two other starters finished with double digits in scoring yet Bill Self doesn’t appear to have much of a bench. Rotating in nine total players, only Lagerald Vick managed to put the ball through the hoop from the second unit.
On the opposite side of the equation, Kameron McGusty and Rashard Odomes collected 13 points a piece as starters. Yet, Lon Kruger has figured out a solution to scoring from the second unit. Pushing Christian James and Jordan Woodard into reserve roles paid off and provided hope for this OU squad. Utilizing a rotation of 11 players on Tuesday, the bench scored 29 points.
Of course, it would be foolish for Woodard to remain in a role coming off the bench. He’ll likely replace Darrion Strong-Moore in the coming days.
There are a handful of building blocks on this young team. Flashes of composure and grit show through every now and then. As for now Oklahoma falls to 6-9 on the year with Texas Tech coming to town next.