Things were looking good early for Kansas...almost too good. Oklahoma uncharacteristically missed their first nine three point attempts, and the Jayhawks were able to build up a steady double-digit lead for much of the half, up by as many as 14 at one point. However, KU foul trouble and OU's great free throw shooting allowed them to trim the lead to just five going into halftime, despite Buddy Hield being held without a made field goal, thanks to some suffocating defense on the part of Devonte Graham, who also hit three from behind the arc.
Obviously, Oklahoma's slump wasn't going to last. They hit two threes out of the gate to take an early second half lead, and held on until around the 8 minute timeout, when the Jayhawks went on a 7-0 run to take the lead. The two heavyweights traded blows from that point on. Poor rebounding on KU's part nearly overshadowed some outstanding defense, as Oklahoma extended many second half possessions on the boards.
Frank Mason would foul out around the 3 minute mark on a made three-pointer by Oklahoma that put the Sooners back on top, but Devonte Graham came up clutch with a response from behind the arc. Some sloppy play and missed shots ensued for both teams until the final 30 seconds. Kansas was up two when Buddy Hield, one possession after a charge call went against him, was the beneficiary of an off-ball foul call that sent him to the line with a chance to tie. Surprisingly, he missed the second shot, and Graham went to the free throw line on the other end and, as heroes do, calmly hit both free throws. Isaiah Cousins, who had carried the Sooners for stretches, made a puzzling decision to race down the court and hoist a deep, off-balance three with 10 seconds remaining, which missed badly. Jamari Traylor grabbed the rebound, hit one of his two free throws, and Kansas was once again tied atop the Big 12 standings.
MVP obviously goes to Graham in this one, who had a career high 27 points despite spending the afternoon glued to Buddy Hield. Frank Mason was solid aside from the fouls, contributing 14, and Landen Lucas followed up his 16 rebound performance against West Virginia with a dozen boards. Kansas hosts Oklahoma State on Big Monday in just over 48 hours from the time of publishing.