Jayhawks Battle Back to Outlast Oklahoma, 71-69


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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Led by 22 points from redshirt sophomore forward Jalen Wilson, No. 8 Kansas outlasted Oklahoma, 71-69 to earn its 20th win for the 33rd consecutive season inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

Kansas improves to 20-4 (9-3 Big 12), while Oklahoma falls to 14-11 (4-8 Big 12). The Jayhawks have now won 20 or more games for 33 consecutive seasons, a streak that began in 1989-90 and is the longest-active streak in NCAA Division I.

During the game, Kansas honored the 50-year reunion of the 1971 Final Four team, coached by Ted Owens. Six players as well as multiple members of the staff were honored at halftime.

Over the first five minutes of play, Kansas relied heavily on its inside game, feeding senior forward David McCormack in the paint. McCormack got Kansas rolling by scoring 7 of the first 9 points for the Jayhawks, as the two teams were tied, 9-9 five minutes into the game.

Oklahoma would take the lead courtesy of a 10-2 run to make the score 19-13 with 10:33 remaining. The Sooners would extend its lead to as many as 8 points in the first half. Kansas was able to trim the deficit to three after five-straight points from junior guard Christian Braun, as the Sooners took a 34-31 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half, Kansas used a 6-0 run to battle back and retake the lead at 46-45, forcing Oklahoma into a timeout with 14:22 remaining.

Trailing by five with 10:18 remaining, the Jayhawks went on an 11-0 run, which was spurred by a pair of 3-pointers from Wilson and freshman Zach Clemence. The run gave Kansas a 63-57 lead with 4:08 to play. Clemence provided valuable play down the stretch for the Jayhawks, scoring three points and grabbing three rebounds in nine minutes of play.

Oklahoma then went to senior Jordan Goldwire, who rattled off 10 consecutive points for the Sooners to cool off the Jayhawks. Goldwire hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining, followed by a layup from senior Elijah Harkless to bring the deficit to just one at 70-69 with 17 seconds remaining.

Kansas would hold on to beat Oklahoma, 71-69, with four players in double-figures, led by Wilson’s 22 points. Braun contributed 18 points and eight rebounds, while the Jayhawks shot 53.1 percent (26-of-49) in the game.

Oklahoma shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the floor and were led by 20 points from Goldwire.

The Jayhawks will have a quick turnaround as they host the Oklahoma State Cowboys on ESPN’s Big Monday on February 14. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. on ESPN.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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