At the 16:37 mark in the first half, Kansas took the lead and never let it go against the Oklahoma Sooners on January 26, 2013. Senior Jeff Withey scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Kansas over Oklahoma 67-54 in the teams' first meeting of the season Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas extended their nation leading winning streak to 17 and remains undefeated in Big 12 play to remain atop the league.
In another matchup of the Big 12's first and second-place teams, Kansas (18-1, 6-0) held Oklahoma (13-5, 4-2) to just 54 points and 35.6 percent shooting from the floor. Prior to the weekend meeting, Oklahoma was first in the Big 12 in scoring offense in conference-only games with 71.6 points per game.
Redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore notched 18 points to lead all scorers, while senior guard Travis Releford's 10 points made him the third of just three Jayhawks in double figures. Withey also grabbed four blocks which gave Withey sole possession of third place on the Kansas career block list with 247. Senior guard Elijah Johnson, who finished with eight points and two assists.
Kansas hovered below double digit leads until the 5:29 mark when they secured a 10 point lead. At the 9:52 mark in the second half, Kansas took an 11 point lead and never let it slip below that for the rest of the game.
It’s not what one would call a dominant performance by Kansas. Bill Self’s trademark “pillow defense” as he has called the team in the past held a hot Oklahoma team to 35.6% shooting. The offense was productive enough to stay in front of the Sooners while the smothering KU defense did it’s job. It only takes a 1 point lead to win a game, and when you defense can hold teams that usually score over 70 to 54 points, then Kansas is better served playing to its strength and getting the wins. Now’s not the time to try and lose sight of what has produced 17 straight wins. Jeff Withey blocking shots, rebounding and solid defending has brought the Hawks a long way.
Final stats can be found HERE.
Kansas will play its second of four ESPN Big Monday's at new conference rival West Virginia on January 28 at 8 P.M. (Central). The Jayhawks return home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday, February 2, at 3 P.M. on the Big 12 Television Network.
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