Kristian Doolittle had 24 points and 11 rebounds to help Oklahoma beat No. 13 Kansas 81-68 on Tuesday night and end the Jayhawks’ run of Big 12 regular-season titles at 14 years.
The last time Kansas didn’t at least tie for the conference crown, Oklahoma State won it outright in 2003-04. Now, Kansas State and Texas Tech remain in contention for the championship. The fans knew – they chanted ”streak is over” in the closing minutes.
Brady Manek scored 21 points and Rashard Odomes added 12 for Oklahoma (19-11, 7-10 Big 12), which boosted its chances of earning an NCAA Tournament bid.
Dedric Lawson, the Big 12’s leading scorer, had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas (22-8, 11-6). David McCormack added 18 points for the Jayhawks.
Manek scored 10 early points to help the Sooners roll out to a 23-7 lead. Kansas crept back into the game before a dunk by Manek put the Sooners up 30-18.
In a perfect example of the way the first half went, the Sooners ran the shot clock down so far that the student section started counting. As time ran out, Doolittle bulled his way through Kansas’ defense for a layup to put the Sooners up 41-22. The Sooners led 41-28 at the break.
Oklahoma poured it on in the second half. A 3-pointer by Odomes pushed the Sooners’ lead to 59-37, and Oklahoma remained in control the rest of the way.
Kansas: Sure, the Jayhawks lost a road game to a team that has caught fire late in the season and likely will reach the NCAA Tournament. But the way they lost should be a concern, as should the close call in a win over struggling Oklahoma State last Saturday. Kansas doesn’t look like Kansas right now.
Oklahoma: The Sooners finally got that marquee win they have been looking for during conference play. The Sooners had lost five straight at one point, but now have won four of five. They head toward the postseason with momentum this season.