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Kansas Falls to Oklahoma 75-73

Jayhawks fight in Norman but fall at the last second.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The shorthanded Jayhawks gave their all in the season finale Saturday afternoon, but eventually fell to the Sooners by a 75-73 score.

With Perry Ellis (injury), Cliff Alexander (suspension), and Brannen Greene (suspension) out, Kansas still gave Oklahoma all the Sooners could handle.

The Jayhawks jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but soon fell behind as Oklahoma made a run.  Kansas would find themselves down 10 points at 30-20 with three minutes left in the first half.  That's when Kansas made a run of their own, an 8-2 run to end the half.  OU would take a 32-30 lead into halftime.

The game would continue to be a series of mini runs.  OU would take a four point lead, KU would close the gap.  OU would take a seven point lead, KU would close again.  OU would take a five point lead, KU would... well, you get the idea.  Anyway, Kansas eventually took the lead for themselves at 61-60 with 5:47 left, but Buddy Hield immediately answered with a three ball and OU would never trail again.

After a pair of Jordan Woodard free throws gave Oklahoma a 73-70 lead with 8 seconds left, Frank Mason got fouled on a three-point attempt with 5 seconds left.  Mason made all three free throws to tie the game at 73.  OU went right up the court with Woodard.  Woodard missed the shot in the lane, but nobody got a body on Hield, who was able to cleanly tip it in with something like 0.2 seconds left and Oklahoma took the 75-73 win.

Wayne Selden was ineffective for the Jayhawks on his bad right ankle, going 0/7 from the field in 18 minutes.  Devonte' Graham also struggled for KU, shooting only 3/14 from the floor.  Lucas and Hunter Mickelson both were solid, each picking up 20+ minutes, while Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk saw 13 minutes of action.

Frank Mason led all scorers with 21 points on 5/13 shooting.  Landen Lucas added 13 points on 6/8 shooting.  Jamari Traylor and Kelly Oubre each added 12 more.  Aside from the last basket of the game, Kansas did good work defending Hield, who despite leading OU with 18 points shot only 6/20 from the field (2/7 from behind the arc).

Each team pulled in 44 rebounds on the afternoon.  Lucas picked up 12 and Oubre added 10, giving each of them a double-double.  KU pulled in 14 offensive rebounds in the first half, but only two in the second half.  Kansas was outrebounded in the second half 25-13.

As a team, Kansas shot 5/15 (33.3%) from 3-pt range while Oklahoma went 6/18 (33.3%) from behind the arc.

Kansas hit 20/25 (80.0%) free throws to OU's 17/22 (77.3%).

Up next, Kansas will take on the winner of the 8/9 game in the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday, March 12, at approximately 1:30 PM Jayhawk time.  The 8/9 game will feature (8) Kansas State and (9) TCU, two teams that the Jayhawks struggled with in the regular season.