Wilson, Braun lead No. 7 Kansas past Oklahoma 67-64
By CLIFF BRUNT
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Jalen Wilson scored 16 points, Christian Braun hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 10.9 seconds left and No. 7 Kansas defeated Oklahoma 67-64 on Tuesday night.
Braun's corner 3 gave the Jayhawks a 65-62 lead. They fouled Jordan Goldwire with 6.1 seconds remaining to prevent him from shooting a potential tying 3, and he made both free throws to make it 65-64.
Braun then drained two at the other end with four seconds to go. Oklahoma, out of timeouts, missed a desperation heave from beyond halfcourt that could have forced overtime.
Braun shot his late 3-pointer a bit earlier than Kansas coach Bill Self wanted.
"Well, it won the game, I mean, so I think it's pretty big," Self said. "I mean, a tie game and he shoots it five seconds too early. It better - it's got to go in."
Braun finished with 15 points and Ochai Agbaji, the Big 12 scoring leader, had all 10 of his points in the final six minutes for the Jayhawks (15-2, 4-1).
Though Kansas won its third straight, Self said he'd like his team to embrace the ugly games more.
"I don't think we did a great job of that tonight, but we did a good enough job," he said. "I thought the ball stuck. I didn't think we did a lot of things very well. But we ... played pretty well the last four minutes, which is obviously the most important stretch of the game."
Goldwire scored 15 points for Oklahoma (12-6, 2-4), which lost its third in a row. It was a disappointing finish for the Sooners, who nearly pulled off their fourth win over a ranked team this season.
"You can't forget how this feels because this is where we want to go," coach Porter Moser said. "We want to win these games."
Agbaji, who was averaging 20.6 points per game, headed back to the locker room midway through the first half after hurting his left wrist. Oklahoma took advantage and went on an 11-0 run to grab a 28-24 lead.
Self said X-rays were negative.
"Yeah, if he broke his wrist or something, I don't know what we'd do in that situation," Self said.
Agbaji returned to the game with his wrist taped, and Kansas recovered to take a 34-32 halftime lead.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Braun and Wilson put the Jayhawks up 42-32 and caused the Sooners to call a timeout. Oklahoma missed its first four shots after the break, and the Jayhawks went on a 10-0 spurt before the Sooners scored nearly four minutes into the second half.
Oklahoma rallied, and Umoja Gibson's nasty step-back into a 3-pointer gave the Sooners a 47-46 lead.
Agbaji scored his first points on a layup that tied it at 52 with about 5:30 to play, and he later made a 3 that evened the game at 58.
Agbaji's layup with just under a minute left put the Jayhawks up by two, but Goldwire scored in close to tie it 62-all and set up the final sequence.
Kansas: Wilson, averaging 7.8 points per game coming in, stepped forward when Agbaji struggled to score most of the night. Agbaji finished strong and lifted his team when the Sooners had momentum and looked as though they might win it.
Oklahoma: The Sooners continue to battle and give themselves a chance against top teams, but they had no answer for Agbaji down the stretch. Oklahoma played gritty defense and made Kansas work for its points, but the Jayhawks' superior talent won out in the end.
Self, on his first matchup with Moser after years of facing coach Lon Kruger at Oklahoma: "I actually think it was a lot like playing Lon. A lot of similarities. Guard your man. Not going to get a lot of easy baskets, not going to score in transition. Going to have to make some shots. I thought it was very similar to a Lon-coached team."
Ogbaji missed his first seven field goal attempts before making his last four.
Kansas: Visits rival Kansas State on Saturday.
Oklahoma: Hosts No. 5 Baylor on Saturday.
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Updated January 18, 2022