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OU Basketball: No. 9 Oklahoma Unable to Snap the Streak in Final Trip to Kansas

The No. 3-ranked Jayhawks pulled away from No. 9 Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.

LAWRENCE, KS — Oklahoma’s final shot at snapping its Allen Fieldhouse losing streak fell flat late on Saturday.

The No. 9-ranked Sooners only trailed by one point at halftime, but a big second half from Kansas stars Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson added another chapter to OU’s Phog misery.

OU’s miscues with the basketball reappeared late, helping No. 3 Kansas pull away to win 78-66 in Oklahoma’s final trip to Lawrence.

"We didn’t guard well enough in the second half," OU coach Porter Moser said after the game. "It put a lot of pressure on our offense when you don’t guard that way. They do that to you. You have to give them credit."

Final Box Score

Final Box Score

The Sooners haven’t won in Allen Fieldhouse since 1993, and Saturday’s loss dropped this year’s OU squad to 13-3 on the year and 1-2 in league play, while the Jayhawks moved to 14-2 overall and 2-1 in conference action.

Oklahoma narrowly avoided disaster in the early stages to even be in the game after halftime.

The Sooners coughed the ball up three times in the opening four minutes, digging a 12-4 hole.

With the Kansas fans on their feet, hoping to will a massive early run from the Jayhawks, Javian McCollum steadied the Sooners.

Unbothered by Dickinson’s presence in the lane, he attacked downhill, to pour in 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.

But it was sophomore guard Otega Oweh who pushed Oklahoma forward in the Phog.

He was left alone in front of the Kansas bench, and Oweh drilled a 3 with 7:21 to kickstart a 9-2 run.

On the next trip down the floor, Oweh drove and Jalon Moore rattled the rim, flying in for a thunderous dunk off the rebound to give OU its first lead of the day, 27-26.

After a pair of free throws from KJ Adams, Oweh and Milos Uzan got to the rack on back-to-back possessions to cap off the run. The visitors now led 31-28, and the top 10 teams traded blows for the rest of the half, ending with Kansas taking a 38-37 lead into the locker room.

Moser said the early response stemmed from his team's ability to get stops.

"I thought after the first four minutes," he said, "after they got that lead, I thought we were doing some good things defensively."

Both teams traded buckets early in the second half, but Kansas started to assert itself defensively.

The Sooners suffered a scoring drought over three minutes long, allowing the Jayhawks to build a six-point lead with 13:24 left.

Oklahoma slowed the pace down on the next trip down, trying to get deep into an offensive set to snap the drought, but a missed opportunity loomed large.

Rivaldo Soares missed his initial shot, but battled for an offensive rebound to give OU new life.

Instead of cashing in, Soares had the ball ripped by Kansas’ Johnny Furphy.

Furphy ran the floor in transition and his teammates rewarded him.

Dejuan Harris Jr. found the freshman in the corner for a 3 that put the Jayhawks up 55-46 with 12:58 remaining.

"We were doing some good things defensively in the first half to claw back in, and we just didn't do that in the second half," Moser said. "It's credit to them. They're super efficient in their strengths. They took care of the ball. 

"I would've liked to have been more aggressive to do some things to cause more turnovers, but they didn't. It started with their defense. We didn't get stops, they executed and took care of the ball."

Foul trouble for OU center John Hugley IV forced Moser to dive into his bench, and redshirt freshman Luke Northweather hit a pair of 3-pointers in his first Big 12 minutes, but Oklahoma was ultimately unable to cut into the deficit by the next media timeout.

Time ran out quickly on the Sooners, as they were unable to get hot enough from deep to work their way back into the contest, and Kanas coasted across the finish.

"We couldn’t get stops," Uzan said, "and when our offense wasn’t flowing we couldn’t get stops and I think it just led to their momentum. I think in the second half they executed better."

The Jayhawks won the turnover battle 11-2, and Kansas shot 44 percent from the floor to OU’s 40 percent field goal percentage.

Uzan finished with 12 points, hitting five-of-14 shots, but McCollum was only able to add five more points in the second half.

Four of McCollum's second half points came in the last three minutes, as Kansas did an excellent job on OU's leading scorer to contain him to 17 total points on the afternoon. 

"I thought Javian created some things to happen," Moser said. "They were coming, digging down on him, then when we kick it, we've got to make better decisions. The other guys have to make some better decisions. No, I thought... They just put a lot of pressure on our offense, especially him and Los when we couldn't get stops. You've got to get stops in this league and we didn't."

Oweh added 12 points and Jalon Moore pulled down 11 rebounds, but Dickinson’s 24 point, 13 rebound double-double and McCullar’s 21 points won the day.

Up next, OU will look to get back to .500 in Big 12 play by hosting West Virginia on Wednesday.

Tip-off between the Sooners and the Mountaineers is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.