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Oklahoma basketball: No. 18 Kansas men stop Sooners

by Ryan Aber Published: January 8, 2014

NORMAN — Kansas' freshman phenom, Andrew Wiggins, didn't particularly hurt Oklahoma on Wednesday night.

Big man Joel Embiid, like Wiggins talked about as a possible top overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft, didn't have a big impact either.

But Oklahoma's defensive struggles continued as Wayne Selden Jr. had a career night, and Naadir Tharpe helped the Jayhawks close it out to down the Sooners 90-83 in front of an estimated 10,779 at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Sooners were in the game until the final minute, closing the gap to four points with less than 40 seconds left.

But the Jayhawks had a pair of defensive rebounds and got a block from Wiggins to win their Big 12 opener.

Kansas outscored the Sooners 34-16 in the paint and outrebounded OU 36-22.

“We focused on their size inside, and I think that took away from some activity that we hoped to have on the perimeter that we didn't have,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “We didn't guard the ball very well.

“Not pleased with what we did defensively.”

Oklahoma (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) will host undefeated Iowa State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

With the Cyclones looming and then games at Baylor and Kansas State, two more top teams in the Big 12, the Sooners have to improve defensively soon to keep up the momentum built up during the season's first two months.

“We played in spurts,” senior forward Cameron Clark said. “We can't play in spurts. We have been talking about that all year. That is kind of our identity right now and we have got to change that. We were knocking down shots but we couldn't get stops or rebounds.”

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