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OU Basketball: Oklahoma Succumbs to No. 2 Kansas' Late Rally in the Phog

The Jayhawks erased a 10 point deficit over the final five minutes to deny the Sooners their first win in Lawrence since 1993.

Tanner Groves cooly spun to his left and rolled the ball in over KJ Adams, and Oklahoma briefly thought its Phog Allen nightmare was over.

The bucket put the Sooners up 71-61 on No. 2-ranked Kansas with 5:18 remaining in Lawrence as the Sooners thought their first win on the Jayhawks’ home floor since 1993.

But as is so often the case, Kansas had one last burst.

Bill Self’s team immediately responded with a 7-0 run, brining the crowd at Allen Fieldhouse to their feet.

Kevin McCullar completed the comeback, barreling into the lane and finishing through contact from OU’s Milos Uzan.

The Jayhawk senior hit the ensuing free through to put Kansas up 75-73 with 42 seconds left.

Grant Sherfield missed everything from deep on the other end, opening the door for the Jayhawks to close out the 79-75 win from the charity stripe on Tuesday night.

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Oklahoma (10-6 overall, 1-3 Big 12) went 0-for-5 from the field over the final two minutes, coming up just short of the historic road upset for the second straight season.

Kansas (15-1, 4-0) not only finished the game off at the free throw line, but the Jayhawks lived by the stripe throughout the entire second half.

Porter Moser’s OU defense held the Jayhawks without a field goal for over 11 minutes in the second half, allowing the Sooners to take the lead.

But the Jayhawks worked their way into the double bonus early, scoring 18-straight points from the line.

Once the shots started falling again, the Sooners couldn’t stop the backslide as they were outscored 18-4 down the final stretch of the contest.

Offensively, Sherfield led the charge for the Sooners.

After a couple of tough nights by his standard this season, Sherfield found his shooting touch again, finishing with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting while also pulling down four rebounds and dishing out an assist.

Uzan, a true freshman making his first appearance at Allen Fieldhouse, once again shined as well.

He followed up his strong performance against Texas Tech with an 11-point showing, also adding five rebounds and an assist while only turning the ball over one time in one of college basketball’s toughest environments.

While Sherfield, Uzan and Groves all added big buckets late in the second half, it was an unlikely face who helped push the offense forward in the first half.

Reserve big man Sam Godwin got hot early, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting before the intermission.

Groves also finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. 

Though the Sooners outshot Kansas, sinking 47 percent of their field goal attempts to the Jayhawks’ 37 percent, it was ultimately mistakes that did Oklahoma in.

OU committed 11 turnovers to Kansas’ six on the night, which the Jayhawks covered into 17 points on the other end.

Self’s team also finished 31-of-39 from the free throw line on Tuesday, dwarfing Oklahoma’s 19-of-23 performance.

Despite the strong showing, the Sooners still find themselves in an early hole in Big 12 play, making OU’s return to the Lloyd Noble Center that much more important.

Saturday, Oklahoma will host West Virginia at the Lloyd Noble Center as Moser’s team looks to add another Big 12 win to the resume.

Tipoff between the Sooners and the Mountaineers is scheduled for 11 a.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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