Kansas wins conference opener for 28th straight season



January 3, 2019 - 9:43 AM

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas, the preseason pick of Big 12 men’s basketball coaches to win its 15th consecutive regular-season title, is off to a 1-0 start in conference play for the 28th consecutive year.

The No. 5-ranked Jayhawks (12-1) upended No. 23 Oklahoma (11-2), 70-63, on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

Devon Dotson scored 16 points, Quentin Grimes 14, Dedric Lawson 13 points (plus 15 rebounds) and Lagerald Vick 12 for KU, which hit 41.3 percent of its shots to OU’s 40.3. KU was 4 of 21 from 3-point range; OU 5 of 22.

KU shrugged off an early 9-2 deficit and raced to a 40-25 lead at the break.

Quentin Grimes scored 11 first-half points, while Lagerald Vick had nine points and Udoka Azubuike eight points and six rebounds the first half as KU led the Sooners, 40-25, at the break.

Lawson scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds while playing a team-high 17 minutes the first half.

The Jayhawks hit 18 of 39 shots for 46.2 percent, while Oklahoma hit 11 of 31 shots for 35.5 percent.

Brady Manek scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds, while Christian James and Aaron Calixte had five points apiece the first half.

The Sooners and Jayhawks each hit 2 of 12 3s in the initial half. Free throws were at a minimum; KU making 2 of 3 and OU making 1 of 2. KU outrebounded OU, 23-20, in the half.

Dotson had three steals to go with his five first-half points.

KU had just seven assists in the half, Marcus Garrett totaling three. OU had three assists to nine turnovers. KU had just five turnovers.

Oklahoma jumped out to a 7-0 start, forcing KU coach Bill Self to call timeout just 2:33 into the game. Manek hit a 3, while Miles Reynolds and Kristian Doolittle had buckets. Doolittle broke free and charged toward the goal untouched for his early hoop.

KU missed its first five shots while OU was 3 of 5 at that point. Vick hit a shot in the lane at 17:14 for KU’s first bucket.

Down 9-2 at 16:11, KU went on a 19-2 run to lead, 21-11, at 11:41. Azubuike, who muscled in a bucket earlier to make it 9-4, had six points in the stretch. Grimes had seven points, Vick two, Dotson two and Garrett a resounding dunk in that run. Also to be noted, KU scored 15 straight in that run when down 11-6.

OU immediately countered with a 7-0 run to cut the gap to 21-18 at 6:59. Calixte hit a 3 and had a bucket, while Manek also converted a bucket for OU.