Oklahoma at Kansas
Two of the Big 12’s elite offenses met on Monday night in Lawrence. Kansas’s men’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma 104-74 for its first true blowout of the Big 12 season. It was a special night for KU fans as former Jayhawk point guard Sherron Collins had his jersey retired at halftime. Collins was a first team All-American and was a key part of the team that won the 2008 national championship.
The Jayhawks got out to a hot start, scoring the game’s first 10 points. KU connected on 16 3-pointers and shot 60 percent as a team. The Jayhawks dominated the boards as well, outrebounding the Sooners by 13. Six KU players scored in double figures. Devonte’ Graham had a productive night with 23 points and seven assists. Malik Newman added 20 points. The story of the night for KU, though, might have come from true freshman Silvio De Sousa. De Sousa was originally a class of 2018 prospect who chose to reclassify to 2017. He arrived on campus in late December and finally had himself a solid game for the Jayhawks. De Sousa played a season-high 13 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds. The true freshman’s play could be huge for KU moving forward, as the Jayhawks have struggled down low for most of the season.
OU shot 46 percent from the field and an abysmal 26 percent from 3. Trae Young scored a career-low 11 points, connecting on just 3-of-13 shots from the field. Kameron McGusty led the way for the Sooners with 22 points. After losing five straight games, Lon Kruger decided to make some changes to the Sooner starting lineup. Young and Christian James were the only two players who normally start for OU to start Monday night.
KU now sits a half-game ahead of Texas Tech. OU has lost six straight games and has fallen to eighth place in the Big 12. The Sooners travel to Lubbock on Saturday to clash with Texas Tech in what will serve as the Red Raiders’ battle for the outright Big 12 lead.
West Virginia at Baylor
West Virginia ended Baylor’s five-game winning streak Tuesday night in Waco with a 71-60 victory in a game that featured 46 fouls and five technical fouls. The Bears scored the game’s first points, but that was the only lead they had. The Mountaineers’ stifling defense gave BU fits throughout the night. Their defense held BU to 32 percent shooting from the floor.
A 40-18 WVU lead at the half proved to be too much for the Bears to overcome. The Mountaineers got the lead out to 28 at one point early in the second half. BU went on a 21-5 run to cut WVU’s advantage to 12 points. Ultimately, it was too big of a deficit for the Bears to dig themselves out of, though.
Jevon Carter and Esa Ahmad led the way for WVU with 15 points each. BU had a slight edge on the glass, but its poor shooting from the floor was costly. Jo Lual-Acuil led the Bears with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Manu Lecomte added 12 points. WVU hosts Iowa State on Saturday. BU travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on TCU on Saturday.
TCU at Iowa State
TCU defeated Iowa State 89-83 on Wednesday night in Ames. The Cyclones had a limited roster, as they dressed only seven players. They continued to fight throughout the game, though. ISU committed only nine turnovers and played some inspired basketball.
The story of the game involved ISU’s Donovan Jackson, who played in his first game since hearing of his father’s death. Jackson led the Cyclones with 27 points. ISU has been outmatched in many games, but the Cyclones have been a resilient group that continues to battle adversity.
TCU was in control throughout the game. Shooting 57 percent, the Horned Frogs found their groove on the offensive end. Four players scored more than 14 points. Desmond Bane led TCU with 27 points and five rebounds. Alex Robinson added 18 points and six assists. The Cyclones travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia on Saturday, and TCU hosts Baylor on Saturday.
Texas at Kansas State
Kansas State defeated Texas 58-48 in a battle of bubble teams Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum. It was an ugly game offensively as both teams struggled mightily from the floor. K-State and Texas combined to make only five 3-pointers. UT shot only 28 percent from the field, while K-State shot 41 percent. This was a game each team desperately needed to win. With the victory, K-State has swept UT this season. This could be important come Selection Sunday, as the Wildcats would likely be considered ahead of the Longhorns if it came down to one spot left in the tournament.
The Longhorns had only two players in double figures. Matt Coleman led UT with 14 points. Dylan Osetowski put up a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. UT shot 18 3-pointers and connected on just two of them. With the loss, Texas has lost four of its last five games. It was one of the Horns’ most disappointing performances of the season.
K-State spread the scoring out a little better. Barry Brown led all scorers with 16 points, scoring 14 of those in the second half. Xavier Sneed was big on the glass, snagging 13 boards to complement his nine points. The Wildcats weren’t much better from 3-point land as they made only three shots. It was ultimately K-State’s ability to get inside that powered it to victory. The Longhorns host Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Wildcats travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma on Saturday.