Oklahoma completed the unthinkable when they bested a once deemed elite Kansas team.
In a slight change of a game plan, I noted that Isaiah Cousins would be getting the start over Sam Grooms and Je'lon Hornbeak at the point guard postition in my preview. It would be a move that paid dividends in the long run as Cousins scored six of the Sooners final eight points. From there, it would be Cameron Clark sealing the win with a pair of free throws to put Oklahoma up 72-66.
"I thought Isaiah played well. He created some opportunities and pushed the ball in the back court. He knocked down a shot or two and he really took the ball to the bucket and the paint and we need that. That is something guys haven't been comfortable with doing that. I thought he created things really well." - Lon Kruger
The Jayhawks trailed for a majority of the game thanks to Cousins combining with Romero Osby to go 8-for-8 in the first half of the game. Osby finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds to cap off a stellar win as fans rushed the court.
"We had a lot of energy from the get-go. Shoot around was really active, the guys were active, everybody was anxious just to get out there and play. That's the thing you love about college basketball. You have the crowd behind you at home and everybody has enthusiasm. Coach has been preaching that since day one, talking and helping each other and making that extra effort. I think that ended up being the deciding factor, the fact that we came out there and played hard and defended well." - Romero Osby
Amath M' Baye joined the party with a three pointer in the second half to help OU extend their lead. However, it could have all come crashing down as Kansas pulled to within one point at 59-60. Leave it to Steven Pledger, never shy to take a shot, to fire up a crucial 3-pointer to give Oklahoma a four point lead that was never relinquished.
"The crowd has been great for Big 12 games. They have been outstanding. Again, I mentioned the value of those spontaneous celebrations, especially with the students, are hard to determine. They are important that is for sure. It's a step but there are a lot of steps. This is a small step here. Again it happened because these guys work hard and continue to work at it. They have had a really good attitude about getting better each day." - Lon Kruger
On the afternoon, the Sooners shot the ball well from the floor to the tune of 44.8% for game after a 55.6% outing in the first half. After hitting a bit of a slump, it is great to see Oklahoma finding their offense once again. Coming up with 72 points marks the highest output total against Kansas in six attempts.
For the record, the Sooners were statistically better in every category in this game than their opponent. With the win, Oklahoma moves to 15-7 on the season matching their win total as the 2011-12 season concluded.
"This game to me, today, I'm not leaving out of here disgusted with my team at all because we actually played better today. We played a good team today and they shot the heck out of the basketball. Our last two efforts haven't been great efforts, but today we gave a decent effort and it just wasn't good enough." - Bill Self
Next up for the Sooners is Big 12 Newcomer, the TCU Horned Frogs.