No. 22 Oklahoma 71, No. 8 Kansas 63
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—Oklahoma sacrificed a little bit of offense for a scrappy, stingy defense that kept Kansas reeling.
The No. 22 Sooners handed the No. 8 Jayhawks their third straight loss Monday night, with Terrell Everett scoring 19 points and freshman David Godbold adding a career-high 15 in Oklahoma’s 71-63 victory Monday night.
Kansas (20-4, 10-3 Big 12), which lost to Texas Tech in double overtime and Iowa State in overtime last week, has lost three straight for the first time since falling to Oklahoma State, Missouri and Nebraska from Feb. 16-23, 1994. The Jayhawks haven’t lost four in a row since an eight-game losing streak in 1988-89.
“We’re not done,” guard J.R. Giddens said. “The Jayhawks are not done.”
Oklahoma’s Johnnie Gilbert tied a career high with 12 points as the Sooners relied on two unlikely offensive heroes. Godbold, a freshman, had been averaging 3.4 points, and Gilbert, a reserve, was averaging 2.4 points.
Oklahoma’s Kelvin Sampson happened upon Godbold while the Sooners’ coach watched his son play high school basketball, and he was originally expected to walk on. Even after Godbold was offered a scholarship, he was considered a redshirt candidate.
“You don’t have to be on somebody’s list to be good,” Sampson said.
Godbold developed into a solid defender and earned a growing role, eventually working his way into the starting lineup three games ago.
“He’s an unbelievable character kid and he’s got a great attitude and he works to get better,” Sampson said. “David’s one of those kids that doesn’t want a lot of attention. He just plays the game.”
Godbold was 7-of-12 against Kansas, including a basket off an offensive rebound that helped put the game away with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
Both Godbold and Gilbert benefited from Everett’s ability to slash through the Jayhawks’ defense to create openings elsewhere.
“We just tried to spread them and drive a lot,” Everett said. “Godbold was hitting shots and I was getting pretty open, too.”
Kansas rallied from 19 points down in the first half to get within a point midway through the second half, but the Sooners (20-6, 9-4) held on to drop the Jayhawks out of a first-place tie with Oklahoma State.
After trailing 37-18 with 1:10 left in the first half, the Jayhawks scored the last four points before intermission and the first five of the second half.
They used an 11-2 run, capped by Giddens’ 3-pointer off a pass from Wayne Simien, to pull to 47-46. Aaron Miles started the run with four straight free throws, and Giddens and Simien followed with jumpers.
“We never feel like we’re out of a game no matter how many we’re down,” Giddens said. “We knew we were gonna get back in the game. We just didn’t execute down the stretch.”
The Sooners scored six straight points to stretch the lead to 60-52, with Godbold grabbing a rebound and hitting a jumper in the lane with 2:33 left.
The Jayhawks got within four on several occasions after that, but Drew Lavender hit all four of his free throws and Everett added two more to secure the victory.
“When they came back on us, we just drew a line in the sand,” said Sampson, who has coached the Sooners to at least 20 wins each of the past eight seasons.
Simien finished with 17 points and six rebounds, Langford scored 16 points and Miles added 12 for Kansas.
“In the first half, we played terrible. They pressured us and we seemed like little bitty ballplayers out there turning the ball over,” Miles said. “In the second half we competed to get back in the game, then we had some mental lapses at the end.”
Oklahoma took advantage of five early Kansas turnovers for a 15-2 run and took an 18-6 lead on Lawrence McKenzie’s 3-pointer. After a 3-pointer by Everett on the next possession, McKenzie hit another 3 to make it 24-9.
An 8-2 run, capped by Gilbert’s layup, extended Oklahoma’s lead to 37-18 before the Jayhawks started their rally.
Gilbert got into the lineup after Oklahoma’s leading scorer, Taj Gray, got into foul trouble and stayed in because he plays better in the zone than Gray.
Gray, who had been averaging 15.3 points, scored six points in 13 minutes, and Kevin Bookout scored only five—less than half his 12.2-point average.
“We’re not a one-trick pony,” Sampson said. “We don’t need Taj and Kevin to get double-doubles for us to win. … We’ve got different ways we can win games.”