The Sooners took on yet another top 25 opponent on Tuesday night in the Lloyd Noble Center. This time it was the #7 ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Oklahoma got off to a hot start which forced Kansas to call an early timeout. Bill Self must have said the right thing to get his team in check as the Jayhawks took control of the game and remained in the lead for most of the first half.
Although Kansas held the lead, OU was never far behind. The largest lead for the Jayhawks was 7 points. The Sooners managed to keep KU from scoring for nearly 5 minutes late in the first half which put them right back in the game.
Kansas held a two point lead heading into the second half and they came out and built on that lead quickly. It’s safe to say the beginning of the second half was less than ideal for the Sooners.
After that Oklahoma opened up on a 18-2 run that went for nearly 9 minutes. The Sooners were playing suffocated defense and then moving the ball on the other end for wide open baskets. Kansas inevitably rallied back at the end and took a three point lead over OU in the final minutes. The Sooners attempted to foul for another look on offense but came up just short.
Game Defining Moment
The Sooners had the Jayhawks rattled down the stretch until Christian Braun knocked down an absolute dagger of a three. Oklahoma had too little time to fight back after this one and it ultimately led to the win for Kansas.
Even in the loss Oklahoma had some guys who heavily contributed. Jalen Hill is only a junior for OU but acts like a senior on the floor for this team. From the first time he stepped on the court for the Sooners he has been the guy willing to throw his body down for a loose ball or to hang in there for a charge on defense. Tuesday night he recorded 10 points on 4-7 shooting and also grabbed 7 rebounds.
Jordan Goldwire led Oklahoma in scoring with 15 points. He also had 4 assists and 4 rebounds on the night. Goldwire was a big reason the Sooners were keeping pace with Kansas down the stretch. He record 6 straight points for the team during the final minutes of the game.
The Problem Child
Kansas had three different starters record double digit scoring but Jalen Wilson led them all with 16 points. He shot over 50% from the floor going 6-11 and also grabbed 8 rebounds. Oklahoma had no answer for the 6’8 sophomore forward.
Dave's screen makes the play on this set play. He forces some OU panic as two players take the cutting Agbaji. That leaves a 2-on-1 for the next ball screen. Jalen Wilson will never get a more open 3 in a ball-screen setting. pic.twitter.com/o4zwnDUSCB— Jesse Newell (@jessenewell) January 19, 2022
The Gauntlet Continues
Things aren’t getting any easier for OU in their next matchup. They’ll take on the #5 Baylor Bears in Norman at 2:00 PM CST on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN+.
Oklahoma played Baylor well during their matchup on January 4th. They ended up losing by 10, but that was only due to some last minute fouling. The Bears have been struggling as of late and this should be an excellent opportunity for the Sooners to regain some of their momentum this season. A win over Baylor Saturday would be huge for this program.
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