NORMAN- The Kansas Jayhawks spoiled Top Daug’s homecoming to the Lloyd Noble Center, handing the Oklahoma Sooners their second straight loss.
“The crowd was great,” Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger said after the game. “We’ve got to play a lot better, we’ve got to shoot a lot better to have a chance on a night like this.”
With the 66-52 loss, the Sooners fell to 11-5 on the season and moved to 2-2 in conference play.
Oklahoma hung around with the Jayhawks for 30 minutes, but ultimately ran out of gas in their upset bid.
With leading scorer Devon Dotson’s hip keeping him from playing, Isaiah Moss stepped into the starting lineup and didn’t miss a beat.
Moss led the Jayhawks with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, draining 6-of-11 attempts from behind the arc.
Kansas was crisp on the defensive end of the floor as well, holding the Sooners to 30 percent shooting from the field.
Oklahoma’s trio of leading scorers, Brady Manek, Austin Reaves and Kristian Doolittle, combined to shoot just 10-of-43 for 27 points.
“I thought our defense was fine. We’ve got to make shots on the other end,” Manek said after the game.
“We’ve just got to make shots.”
Udoka Azubuike was a problem for the Sooners. He kept Doolittle in check defensively for most of the night, and Oklahoma had few answers when trying to defend him.
“He’s seven foot, so that’s a challenge for anybody,” Doolittle said after the game.
“He’s able to contest a lot of shots and they just didn’t go in.”
Azubuike scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and exercised his demons at the free throw line, posting a perfect 2-of-2 outing.
— Jerry Ramsey (@TVsJerry) January 15, 2020
However, the Jayhawks put away the Sooners with Azubuike on the bench.
With 9:52 left in the game, Azubuike exited after picking up his third personal foul. Oklahoma was unable to capitalize, as Moss and guard Marcus Garrett stepped up to lead Kansas on a 12-5 run.
The Sooners also struggled to get to the free throw line against the Jayhawks.
Oklahoma has been the best free throw shooting team in the conference thus far, but they only were able to get to the line nine times.
“We’ve been a club that’s gotten to the free throw line a little bit, didn’t nearly as much tonight,” Kruger said.
Kruger gave credit to the defensive effort by the Jayhawks. He said they have great rim protectors who do a good job of contesting shots in the lane, making it hard to get to the free throw line.
“You always have to try and stay aggressive and getting down hill and attacking and putting the pressure on the defense, but again, they’re good at trying to keep you from doing that too,” he said.
Freshman guard De’Vion Harmon returned to the starting lineup and was a bright spot for the Sooners.
“De’Vion did a good job, he did step up and make shots for us,” Kruger said. “His energy is always good.”
“He’s headed in a great direction.”
Harmon matched Doolittle with 13 points to lead the team in scoring, as well as adding two steals.
Oklahoma will return to action on Jan. 18 when they host the TCU Horned Frogs from the Lloyd Noble Center.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.