Sooners go cold as No. 3 Jayhawks roll, 67-54

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2013 at 6:35 pm •  Published: January 26, 2013
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Oklahoma entered Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday leading the league in scoring offense and field goal percentage.

The Sooners' often prolific offense hit a wall against Kansas center Jeff Withey.

Oklahoma shot just over 35 percent in a 67-54 loss to the third-ranked Jayhawks, and Sooners coach Lon Kruger was quick to credit their struggles to the 7-foot senior.

Withey who finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

"Withey changes everything on the interior and does a terrific job," said Kruger, who is no stranger to struggling against the Jayhawks after coaching at Kansas State. "I thought he set the tone early in the ball game and we just never did get any flow offensively."

The Sooners shot 28.6 percent in the first half but kept the game within reach by forcing eight turnovers. But Kansas built a double-digit lead in the second half and pulled away.

The Sooners were outscored 28-16 in the paint and outrebounded 41-31 — much of that influenced by Withey, of course.

"He's seven feet tall with long arms," said Romero Osby, who was 4 of 16 from the floor and finished with 12 points. "He bothers everyone."

Osby included.

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

Ben McLemore added 18 points and Travis Releford had 10 as the Jayhawks pushed their nation-leading win streak to 17 games. Kansas (18-1, 6-0 Big 12) also won its 33rd straight at Allen Fieldhouse, matching the fourth-longest home winning streak in school history.

Amath M'Baye also scored 12 for the Sooners (13-5, 4-2), and Steven Pledger had 10.

Oklahoma has lost 10 straight to the Jayhawks dating to 2006, and hasn't won at the Phog since the Sooners beat then-No. 6 Kansas as an unranked team during the 1993 season. Kruger fell to 5-13 against the Jayhawks, many of those losses coming with Kansas State.

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