McLemore leads No. 3 Kansas past Oklahoma, 67-54

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm •  Published: January 26, 2013
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"Kansas is very, very good," Kruger said matter-of-factly, "and we have to play much better than we did today to compete with them."

It was the 800th game played at Allen Fieldhouse, just down the Interstate 70 from Kemper Arena in Kansas City, where 25 years ago the Jayhawks beat the Sooners for the national title.

Neither team looked Final Four-worthy in the first half, though.

The Jayhawks were 1 of 6 from beyond the arc and committed eight turnovers, three by Releford. So even when Kansas managed to build a lead, going up 24-14 on McLemore's putback with 5:30 left in the first half, the Jayhawks couldn't establish too much separation.

Oklahoma didn't do a whole lot to help itself, either.

The Sooners got within 29-21 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Pledger, but they still shot just 28 percent from the field. Their 21 points were a season low for any half.

"We did some good things defensively in the first half," Self said.

Things didn't change much for Oklahoma after the break. Osby missed the Sooners' first five shots, and their first field goal didn't come until M'Baye's jumper at the 16:14 mark.

Osby admitted he was shaken by Withey, who kept hounding him everywhere on the floor.

"He does that with everybody. He makes it really tough, especially going to the basket," Osby said. "You try to get him off the floor with pump fakes and he just stays down, stays down. ... He always bothers people, but I think I kind of let it get in my head a little bit."

Kansas kept its lead hovering around 10 points for much of the second half. Elijah Johnson's driving layup for his first basket made it 37-27, and his 3-pointer with 11:35 remaining gave the Jayhawks a 42-31 lead, matching their biggest of the game.

The Jayhawks had pushed it to 45-39 on McLemore's 3-pointer with 4:10 left when the Sooners went on their last run. Consecutive baskets by Buddy Hield and M'Baye trimmed the lead to 10, but Johnson's 3-pointer and another by McLemore put the game away.

"The first half was pretty sloppy as a whole. The second half we got it going, we started rebounding better," Withey said. "We got a couple steals and that led to easy baskets."



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