After blowing a 19-point halftime lead, No. 11 Kansas rallied and held on to beat No. 19 Oklahoma 85-78 on Monday night.
Despite a furious second-half rally from the Sooners, the Jayhawks maintained their composure at home and improved to 15-3 (4-1 Big 12) this season. Freshman wing Kelly Oubre had 19 points and nine rebounds and junior forward Perry Ellis was 6-for-11 for 16 points and eight rebounds to help lead Kansas to victory.
Freshman Cliff Alexander also had one of his best games of the season going for 13 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
Buddy Hield had 26 points and Isaiah Cousins added 18 points to lead an instant Oklahoma (12-6, 3-3) second-half comeback. The Sooners erased a 19-point halftime deficit by taking its first lead of the game with a little over 10 minutes left in the second half. But they couldn’t stop Kansas on the defensive end and TaShawn Thomas struggled to a 1-for-7 shooting night for four points in the loss.
This is a huge win for Kansas, as they didn’t panic after giving up a big lead. A 51-point first half also showed just how good the Jayhawks can be for a half of basketball. Alexander putting up a strong performance is also a nice bonus and it helps when Oubre and Ellis have good games as well as they’ve been inconsistent at times this season.
When the stars play well for Kansas guys like Frank Mason (10 points) and Brannen Greene (12 points) can have normal and productive games and fit into better roles as complimentary players.
Good bounce-back effort for the Jayhawks after the road loss at Iowa State and winning at home against a potential deep NCAA Tournament team. It doesn’t get any easier for Kansas as they face No. 17 Texas on the road on Jan. 24.