LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Marcus Garrett scored a career-high 24 points, Devon Dotson added 19 and third-ranked Kansas rolled to an 87-70 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday to keep pace with No. 1 Baylor in what has become a two-team race toward the Big 12 title.
Garrett hit a career-best six 3-pointers while adding seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Udoka Azubuike added 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Ochai Agbaji scored 10 points, as the Jayhawks (22-3, 11-1) won their 10th straight since falling to the Bears at Allen Fieldhouse in early January.
Kristian Doolittle had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Oklahoma (16-9, 6-6), but the senior forward needed 20 field-goal attempts to get there. Austin Reaves added 12 points while leading scorer Brady Manek dealt with early foul trouble and was held to seven points and 1-for-6 shooting from the arc.
Oklahoma has now lost 19 straight at the Phog since 1993.
The Sooners spent the first half slumping into the paint, trying to keep Azubuike and fellow big man David McCormack from getting easy looks at the rim. As a result, they backed off the 3-point line and dared Garrett — not a particularly good shooter from deep — to begin hoisting up shots.
He finally did. And he made Oklahoma pay.
Garrett knocked down a trio of first-half 3-pointers, including one that capped a 17-5 surge over the final 8 minutes and gave Kansas a 41-32 lead at the break. That barrage forced Oklahoma to begin guarding the perimeter, and that allowed Dotson lanes to the basket and the Jayhawks' big men to begin working with their backs to the basket.
Garrett didn't just do it with his shooting, either. One of the nation's best defenders also had a couple of steals on back-to-back possessions late in the half, leading to easy run-outs and layups that crushed Oklahoma's confidence.
Kansas kept its momentum going with a 12-2 run to start the the second , only for the Sooners to make their only big run of the game. Manek finally got a couple of shots to drop, and McCormack and Tristan Enaruna committed offensive fouls on consecutive possessions for Kansas, allowing the Sooners to trim their deficit to 61-51 with 11 1/2 minutes left.lf.
Dotson answered with a pair of layups, and Ogbaji knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner in front of the Kansas a few minutes later, allowing the Jayhawks to stretch the lead and cruise to the finish.
The Jayhawks were leading 76-60 when they had a run-out and the Sooners' De'Vion Harmon knocked the ball out from behind. Referee Gerry Pollard incorrectly whistled that it went off Kansas, sending coach Bill Self sprinting down the court and bumping into him. Self was given a technical foul and Doolittle made one of two free throws.
Oklahoma was just 8 of 24 from beyond the arc and beaten on the boards, and that's never a recipe for success against the Jayhawks. The Sooners also allowed Kansas to pile up 14 second-chance points.
Kansas committed 10 turnovers, but most of those came in the final few minutes. They had just three at halftime, when the Jayhawks had built a cushion they would never relinquish. Dotson had five assists and Kansas had 17 as a team.
Oklahoma hosts top-ranked Baylor on Monday night.
Kansas concludes its homestand against Iowa State on Monday night.
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