Oklahoma basketball: Sooners’ troubles continue with blowout loss to Kansas

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 19: Malik Newman
LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 19: Malik Newman /

They weren’t given much of a chance coming in, and they didn’t put up much resistance once they were there, as Kansas continued the misery for Oklahoma basketball fans, beating the wobbling Sooners in blowout fashion, 104-74.

The Jayhawks, now 22-6 and 11-4 in the Big 12, dominated the Monday game from start to finish, jumping out to an18-4 advantage in the opening five minutes. Kansas led by as many as 16 points in the first half and was ahead by 10 points at the half. But with the way Kansas was dominating the game, it seemed like the Jayhawks should have been up by much more than 10 points at intermission.

Oklahoma scored the first three points in the second half and actually cut the Kansas lead to seven points, 49-42, but the Jayhawks put together a 12-4 run to widen their advantage, and that was pretty much lights out for the Sooners’ comeback effort.

Kansas outscored OU 55-35 in the second half, handing the Sooners their 17th consecutive loss at KU’s Allen Fieldhouse. Oklahoma has not won a game at Kansas since 1993.

Kansas’ Devonte Graham led all scorers with 23 points and seven assists. Malik Newman added 20 points for the Jayhawks, and four other Kansas players scored in double digits. The Jayhawks were making shots from all over the floor and shot 60.9 percent for the game. They made 16 of 29 three-point shots, many of which were wide-open, uncontested shots.

If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought you were watching pregame warmups.

When there wasn’t a Kansas player camped all alone behind the three-point line, the ball was going inside for easy slam dunks by multiple Kansas players.

Plain and simple, i210420t was another deplorable Oklahoma defensive effort. Head coach Lon Kruger continues to say the Sooners just need to keep getting better and learn and grow from their adversity. The problem is, they keep getting worse, not better, and now it has reached the point of embarrassment.

Kameron McGusty had another big game for the Sooners with 22 points, and junior Jumani McNeace got his first career start and delivered a personal high 18 points.

Trae Young had another difficult night on the offensive end, hitting just 3 of 13 shots and finishing with a season- and career-low 11 points. He did contribute nine assists, however.

Kruger mixed up his starting five for this game, starting Kristian Doolittle, McNeace and Kameron McGusty in place of Khadeem Lattin, Brady Manek and Rashard Odomes, who have been starters for most of the season. It didn’t seem to matter much, though, as Kansas not only avenged its earlier loss to Oklahoma, but made a huge statement in the process.

The Sooners, the nation’s second highest scoring team, had 100-plus points hung on them for the first time this season and the first time in two seasons. The last time Oklahoma gave up 100 points to an opponent was on Jan. 4, 2016, in the same place and to the same team. Buddy Hield scored 46 points in an epic triple-overtime game won by Kansas, 109-106.

The loss was OU’s sixth straight and its ninth in the last 11 games. The Sooners’ record, which six weeks ago was 14-2, is now 16-11 and 6-9 in Big 12 play. It also was Oklahoma’s seventh consecutive loss away from home.

Next up, Oklahoma gets a revenge game of its own, hosting the other Big 12 team from the state of Kansas on Saturday. Kansas State defeated the Sooners in Manhattan in January, 86-76.