Second half struggles return, Sooners fall to No. 6 Kansas

Feb. 17—Another frustrating second half set up a familiar result in No. 25 Oklahoma's rematch with No. 6 Kansas.

The Sooners led by as many as 11 points with two minutes left in the first half, but gave up a quick 6-0 run that seemed to change the energy of the game. After leading by five points at the break, the Sooners would be held to just four makes from the field in their second loss to the Jayhawks this season.

The 67-57 loss is the Sooners' seventh straight to Kansas and they fall to 2-5 against ranked opponents this season.

Oklahoma set a season-low for points in a half with 23 in the second.

A 3-pointer by Javian McCollum on the first possession of the second half appeared to be a positive sign coming out of the break, but the Jayhawks responded with an 8-2 run to tie the game. It took just over five minutes of game time before the Sooners would hit another shot from the field — a jumper by Otega Oweh that gave the Sooners the lead back.

A few minutes later, the Jayhawks took their first lead since the 17:00 mark in the first half on a 3-pointer by Kevin McCullar Jr.

The Sooners were in a tough position from the opening tip as neither center John Hugley IV nor Rivaldo Soares were available for the game due to injury. Soares warmed up prior to the game, but didn't see the floor on Saturday afternoon.

The Jayhawks dominated the glass 40-29 and outscored the Sooners in the paint 30-14.

Early in the game, the Sooners were able to make up for the Jayhawks' advantage down low, going 7-12 from deep in the first half. McCollum, Milos Uzan and Jalon Moore each hit two triples in the first half.

After the break, none of those shots were falling.

After McCollum's early 3, the Sooners missed each of their next 10 shots from deep.

Moore led the team in scoring with 17 points on 5-10 shooting and 2-5 from deep, but scored just four points after halftime. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

McCollum added 15 points and was the Sooners' leading scorer in the second half with nine points.

Kansas' big man Hunter Dickinson was once again able to impose his will on the Sooners' post players in the second half. He had 24 points and 14 rebounds in the first meeting with the Sooners in Lawrence.

On Saturday he led all scorers with 20 points and had 16 rebounds including four offensive boards.

The Jayhawks were 1-5 in road games coming into Saturday's game, but were able to pick up their fifth ranked win of the season.

Up Next

The Sooners drop below .500 in conference play with the loss (6-7) and still have a tough road ahead.

Now riding a two-game losing streak, they'll have a full week to prepare before facing Oklahoma State in Stillwater for Bedlam next Saturday. The Sooners will be on the road for the rest of the month of February before returning to the Lloyd Noble Center on Mar. 2 against No. 3 Houston.

Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing