On Saturday inside the Lloyd Noble Center, the suddenly streaking Oklahoma Sooners defeated the suddenly spiraling No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks (10-5, 4-4), 75-68. As a result of pulling off this monumental upset, OU improves to 9-4 on the season and 5-3 in Big 12 play while taking over sole possession of third place in the conference standings.
One day after his 20th birthday, sophomore guard De’Vion Harmon was outstanding in Oklahoma’s win over Kansas as he led all scorers and tied his season-high with 22 points. The Denton, Texas product made 50 percent of his shot attempts from the field (7-14), including four makes from beyond the arc and all four of his free throw opportunities. Additionally, he recorded four rebounds and a pair of assists without committing a turnover.
De'Vion Harmon dropped eight points within a one minute span. pic.twitter.com/mNkbG4F42T— OUHoops (@ouhoops) January 23, 2021
In the first half, OU fell behind early, but was able to put together a 14-0 run over a nearly seven minute stretch to go up by eight. KU gradually closed the gap with a concerted effort on defense and some skilled shot-making on the other end. Despite the late Kansas surge, Oklahoma held on to maintain a 29-28 lead at the break.
In the second half, Bill Self’s Jayhawks made noticeable adjustments that breathed life back into their offense, but the Sooners continued to counter at every turn. Senior forward Austin Reaves scored all 16 of his points in the final 20 minutes, while junior transfers Elijah Harkless and Umoja Gibson proved instrumental to their team’s success on both ends of the court. Ultimately, Oklahoma pulled away at the tail end of the game, securing a signature win for its NCAA Tournament resume.
Looking through the box score, Lon Kruger’s squad bested Kansas in virtually every statistical category. The Sooners outrebounded the Jayhawks, 36-25, successfully assisted on two more field goals and won the turnover battle. What’s more, even OU’s bench outscored KU’s, 22-13. Overall, it was a total team effort, and that’s exactly what was needed against a blue-blood like KU.
Up next, Oklahoma travels south to take on the No. 5 Texas Longhorns (11-2, 5-1) on Tuesday, Jan. 26. OU has won two of the last three contests against its Red River rival, including a 10-point win in Austin last season. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
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