LAWRENCE—Junior Marcus Garrett proved to be an unstoppable force on both ends of the court against Oklahoma in Saturday’s Big 12 contest.
Garrett scored 24 points on 9 of 18 from the floor, chiming in six 3-pointers along with four first-half steals to lead the No.3 Jayhawks past Oklahoma 87-70.
Not known for his sharp shooting, Garrett took full advantage of his opportunities.
“I don’t really care about how the defense plays,”Garrett said. “I know what we are trying to do offensively, and I just took the shots.”
The final score was not indicative of the first half. The Jayhawks shot out to an 11-4 lead, but that was quickly closed by a flurry of Sooner buckets. From there, it was a back and forth affair until the halftime buzzer.
With 11 lead changes, it wasn’t until the closing stages of the first half where the Jayhawks built their momentum. Fittingly, it was through Garrett. Two steals on back-to-back defensive possessions led to two quick transition buckets. One the finish from sophomore Devon Dotson, and the other from Garrett.
The fast-break scores gave Kansas a 30-27 lead with 4:08 left to play.
“The game was turned at that moment,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said.
Dotson was in his usual groove in the first half, leading the Jayhawks with 13 points on 50% shooting. KU enjoyed a 41-32 lead at the half.
The Jayhawks opened with small 9-2 run to take their largest lead of 16 in the first two minutes. KU never trailed in the second half, leading by as many 21.
Udoka Azubuike managed the inside in the second half, scoring 11 points and rejecting three different Sooner attempts at the rim.
Garrett delivered the cherry on top with a lob to Azubuike for the slam, putting KU up 85-66, and emptying both teams’ reserves with 1:16 on the game clock.
“If Marc makes six threes, we are going to be hard to deal with,” Self said. “Offensively it was probably the best game he’s had since he’s been here.”
With the win, Kansas sits at 22-3 and 11-1 in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks remain a game behind Baylor (12-0, Big 12). The Jayhawks will host Iowa State on Monday before traveling to Waco for a date with the No.1 ranked Bears on Saturday.