Kansas Outlasts Oklahoma in Big 12 Battle, 67-64

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

NORMAN, Okla. – In what was a back-and-forth battle, the No. 7/7 Kansas Jayhawks outlasted the Oklahoma Sooners in the final minute, 67-64, inside Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma on Tuesday evening.

Kansas improves to 15-2 (4-1 Big 12), marking the 16th-straight season starting Big 12 play at 4-1 or better. Oklahoma falls to 12-6 (2-4 Big 12), including third-straight loss.

The Jayhawks were led by sophomore forward Jalen Wilson, who scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, while junior guard Christian Braun and senior guard Ochai Agbaji came in clutch down the stretch, with Braun scoring 15 points and a clutch last-minute 3-pointer, while Agbaji scored 10 points, all of which came in the second half.

Both teams battled throughout the first half, as Kansas’ Jalen Wilson emerged as the Jayhawks top scorer in the first half, connecting on a corner 3-pointer after a basket from David McCormack, to put the Jayhawks up 22-15 with 8:29 remaining.

However, Oklahoma came fighting back, going on an 11-0 run to re-take the lead at 28-24 on a 3-pointer of their own from freshman guard CJ Noland, who led the team with eight points at the break.

Wilson led the Jayhawks with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting at the break, as KU entered the locker room at halftime, leading 34-32.

Out of the break, KU went on an 8-0 run courtesy of back-to-back 3-pointers from Dajuan Harris and Wilson to go up 42-32 and force a Sooner timeout.

Oklahoma then trimmed Kansas’ lead down to just three on a 9-0 run, before reclaiming the lead on a step-back 3-pointer from senior guard Umoja Gibson. Gibson’s 3-pointer capped off a 15-2 run that helped Oklahoma to a 47-46 lead with 12:47 to go.

Trailing 56-52, senior Ochai Agbaji found his groove by hitting on a pair of crucial 3-pointers, trimming the lead to 55-56 with 3:46 remaining, before tying the game on another 3-pointer at 58-58 with 2:58 to play.

After trading free throws, Abgaji drove the lane to give KU a 62-60 lead with 1:04 remaining. Oklahoma responded with a lay-in of their own to knot the game at 62.

With possession and the game tied at 62-62, Braun fielded a pass from Agbaji, which he rose up and connected on a contested 3-pointer to give KU a 65-62 lead with 11 seconds remaining.

After a pair of Oklahoma free throws to make the score 65-64, Braun was fouled with 4 seconds remaining, before he connected a one-and-one. Oklahoma failed to convert on a last-second shot as KU escaped, 65-62.

The Jayhawks continue their two-game road trip when they travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Saturday, January 22. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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