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Oklahoma Holds Off Kansas With Clutch Free Throws and a Defensive Surge

The Sooners won to maintain at least a share of first place in the Big 12, where they collide with co-leader Texas on Saturday in Norman.

Madi Williams scored 23 points, including two clutch free throws in the final minute, and Ana Llanusa added 18 as Oklahoma beat Kansas 86-80 on Sunday at Phog Allen Field House in Lawrence.

No. 15-ranked OU came into the weekend tied with Texas atop the Big 12 standings. The Sooners improved to 22-4 overall and 12-3 in Big 12 play, while Kansas fell to 16-9 and 6-8.

The Sooners and No. 17-ranked Longhorns collide on Saturday in Norman.

OU improved to 19-0 this season when scoring at least 80 points.

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Oklahoma led by six at 80-74 with 5:18 to play and seemed on the verge of pulling away. The Sooners sent Liz Scott at the free throw line shooting two with a two-point lead and just 1:30 to go, but she missed both as Kansas continued to stay within striking distance.

But after another defensive stop, Williams got fouled on a drive to the bucket and sank two freebies with 37 seconds left for an 84-80 lead.

OU got one more stop and sent Llanusa to the free throw line with 8.9 seconds to go, as she made both for an 86-80 lead.

Kansas was scoreless over the last 3:12 as the Sooners cranked up the defense.

Oklahoma came out scorching hot, with 27 points on 47 percent shooting in the first quarter and 23 on 59 percent shooting in the second quarter.

That included 15 first-half points from Williams as she made 6-of-8 from the field.

But Kansas was up to the task, shooting 57 percent in the first half, which included 6-of-10 from 3-point range.

That offensive precision allowed the Jayhawks to open the second quarter on an 8-0 run and build a 35-27 lead early in the period.

But the Sooners closed the first half on a 23-11 run and led 50-46 at halftime.