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OU Basketball: OU men come up short, lose conference lead

BY JOHN HELSLEY Modified: February 24, 2009 at 5:30 am •  Published: February 24, 2009
NORMAN — No Blake Griffin? Nothing doing for the Sooners.

With Griffin in street clothes, still recovering from a concussion suffered Saturday at Texas, No. 3 Oklahoma struggled to find firepower, falling 87-78 to Kansas in Big 12 men’s basketball at Lloyd Noble Center.

Willie Warren scored 23 points to lead the Sooners, but Taylor Griffin was the only other starter in double figure scoring with 11.

Tony Crocker and Austin Johnson combined for just 11 points, had five turnovers with one assist and spent critical time in the second half on the bench.

Ryan Wright, who started for Blake Griffin, was held scoreless, missing his only field goal try and missing five foul shots.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich owned the middle, scoring 15 points and grabbing 20 rebounds, while Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor each had 26 points for the Jayhawks.

The Sooners have lost two straight for the first time this season and also lost a first-place hold in the Big 12 that they’d owned since the season’s start.

Blake Griffin’s absence played critical in both losses, and a timetable for his return remains in question. OU returns to action Saturday at Texas Tech.

"He’s a little bit better than he was,” said Tommy Griffin, Blake’s father. "But he’s nowhere close to being ready to play.”

Sitting Griffin would be good for the Sooners.