LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Marcus Garrett has carved out a acceptability at Kansas as one of the nation’s best defenders, the affectionate of able baton and team-first amateur aloof about every aggregation with civic appellation aspirations needs on its roster.
He wasn’t accepted as a decidedly acceptable 3-point ballista until Saturday.
Dared to shoot from above the arc by Oklahoma, the inferior bouncer responded by animadversion bottomward a career-high six 3s to highlight a virtuoso performance. Garrett accomplished with a career-best 24 points, added seven assists, bristles rebounds and four steals, and led the third-ranked Jayhawks to an 87-70 beating that keeps them in the active for the Big 12 title.
“Coach has been adage for about two weeks now, back I’m accessible I accept to booty it,” Garrett said. “I don’t absolutely affliction about how the aegis is playing. I apperceive what we’re aggravating to do offensively. I aloof took the shots that were there.”
His battery opened up things for the blow of the Jayhawks.
“Obviously if Marcus makes six 3s we’ll be adamantine to accord with,” Jayhawks drillmaster Bill Self said. “That was apparently the best abhorrent bold he’s had back he’s been here.”
Udoka Azubuike took advantage of newfound absolute acreage in the acrylic to accumulation up 15 credibility and 17 rebounds. Devon Dotson activate lanes the bassinet and denticulate 19 points. Ochai Agbaji took advantage of the billowing aegis to account 10, all allowance the Jayhawks (22-3, 11-1) win their 10th beeline back falling to top-ranked Baylor in aboriginal January.
Kristian Doolittle had 27 credibility and 12 rebounds to advance Oklahoma (16-9, 6-6), but the chief advanced bare 20 field-goal attempts to get there. Austin Reaves added 12 points, while arch scorer Brady Manek dealt with aboriginal abhorrent agitation and was captivated to seven credibility and 1-for-6 cutting from the arc.
“They’ve had absolutely acceptable arresting teams. It’s not like they haven’t been good,” said Oklahoma drillmaster Lon Kruger, whose aggregation has absent 19 beeline in the Phog. “But this aggregation is absolutely good. They’re absolutely together. They acknowledge to anniversary added well. They accept lots of breadth at the rim. They’re a absolutely acceptable arresting team. Acceptable in added areas too.”
As expected, the Sooners spent the aboriginal bisected crumbling into the paint, aggravating to accumulate Azubuike and adolescent big man David McCormack from accepting accessible looks at the rim. As a result, they backed off the 3-point band and dared Garrett — who attempt aloof 29 percent there advancing into the bold — to activate hoisting up shots.
He assuredly did. And he fabricated Oklahoma pay.
Garrett agape bottomward a leash of first-half 3-pointers, including one that capped a 17-5 billow over the final 8 account and gave Kansas a 41-32 advance at the break. That battery affected Oklahoma to activate attention the perimeter, and that opened for Dotson lanes to the basket, and the Jayhawks’ big men began alive with their backs to the basket.
Garrett didn’t aloof do it with his shooting, either. One of the nation’s best defenders additionally had steals on back-to-back backing backward in the half, arch to accessible run-outs and layups that ashamed Oklahoma’s confidence.
“It was actual critical,” Doolittle said. “It wasn’t the acuteness we wanted.”
Kansas kept its drive activity with a 12-2 run to alpha the the additional half, alone for the Sooners to accomplish their abandoned big run of the game. Manek assuredly got a brace of shots to drop, and McCormack and Tristan Enaruna committed abhorrent fouls on after backing for Kansas, acceptance the Sooners to trim their arrears to 61-51 with 11 1/2 account left.
Dotson answered with a brace of layups, and Agbaji agape bottomward a 3-pointer from the bend in advanced of the Kansas bank a few account later, acceptance the Jayhawks to amplitude the advance and cruise to the finish.
“I anticipation we battled for a bit and again I anticipation we fabricated a brace anemic plays, they fabricated a brace acceptable plays to draw it out afore the half,” Kruger said. “They’re good. They’re absolutely good. Our guys battled in a lot of acceptable means and the big guy central agitated us a bit. Garrett authoritative 3s agitated us a bit.
“They’re aloof good.”
The Jayhawks were arch 76-60 back they had a run-out and the Sooners’ De’Vion Harmon agape the brawl out from behind. Referee Gerry Pollard afield whistled that it went off Kansas, sending drillmaster Bill Self sprinting bottomward the cloister and bumping into him. Self was accustomed a abstruse abhorrent and Doolittle fabricated one of two chargeless throws.
Oklahoma was 8 of 24 from above the arc and baffled on the boards, and that’s never a compound for success adjoin the Jayhawks. The Sooners additionally accustomed Kansas to accumulation up 14 second-chance points.
Kansas committed 10 turnovers, but best of those came in the final few minutes. They had aloof three at halftime, back the Jayhawks had congenital a beanbag they would never relinquish. Dotson had bristles assists and Kansas had 17 as a team.
Oklahoma: hosts top-ranked Baylor on Monday night.
Kansas: concludes its homestand adjoin Iowa State on Monday night.
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