The wheels are coming off as Kansas loses to Oklahoma on February 9, 2013, in Norman, Oklahoma. In what has become commonplace for this Kansas team, they drop another Big 12 conference game, allowing a surging Kansas State team to take possession of first place in the league. This loss marks the 3rd straight loss for a Kansas team that hasn’t experienced this since losing three in a row in 2005.
Oklahoma snapped a four-game home losing streak against Kansas as KU center Jeff Withey was one of three Jayhawks in double figures and tied the KU record for career blocks. Withey scored 14 points and tied former Kansas center Greg Ostertag with 258 career blocks after rejecting an attempt by OU’s Andrew Fitzgerald at the 19:13 mark of the second half.
Ben McLemore led the Jayhawks with 15 points and Elijah Johnson reached double figures with 10 points. Travis Releford nearly had a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.
The game was back and forth in the opening minutes until OU took the lead at 9:59 left in the first half and never let it go. Kansas trailed by as many as eight in the first half and nine in the second before making it a one possession game in the waning seconds.
With 18 seconds left, the Sooner lead was only 2 points, a very attainable comeback, but a missed layup and a turnover by much maligned guard Elijah Johnson sealed the loss for Kansas.
KU again faces their demons as they are still at loss for a true floor leader. They are forcing Johnson to assume a role he clearly is not comfortable with and trying to bring along Naadir Tharpe into that leadership role, but he is still developing. Unless the defense can step back up and limit teams to below 40% shooting (which OU shot 46.3% in this contest), this KU team will continue to struggle and possibly lose more games.
Full game stats can be found HERE.
Kansas will play Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN’s Big Monday, February 11, 2012, at 8 P.M. central time.
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