Kansas men's basketball defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 87-70 after a career day from junior guard Marcus Garrett in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday, Feb. 15.
With Garrett leading the way, Kansas’ ability to turn defense into offense helped the Jayhawks earn the victory.
Garrett put his stamp on the game throughout, but his back-to-back steals near the end of the first half propelled the Jayhawks to making consecutive transition layups. The Dallas native scored on the second of the two layups after sophomore guard Devon Dotson netted the first.
The quick scores gave Kansas a 30-27 lead with 4:08 left in the first half as the crowd came to a crescendo.
Garrett, who had four steals, also made a career-high six 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 24 points. He took advantage as the Sooners gave him space to shoot throughout most of the game.
His hot streak from behind the line led the Jayhawks’ explosion from beyond the arc. They shot 11-for-22 on 3-pointers after shooting 13-for-63 from downtown in their previous three games combined.
When Kansas wasn’t shooting threes, Dotson forced the issue after an Oklahoma miss and made a transition runner from the right block.
He was pushing the ball down the court throughout the game as he finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
After Oklahoma redshirt junior guard Austin Reaves dunked the ball on the baseline, Dotson flashed past midcourt and threw an alley oop to senior center Udoka Azubuike less than 10 seconds later, giving the Jayhawks an 18-17 lead midway through the first half.
Azubuike shot below his season average of 75% from the field but still tallied a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
As Kansas kept taking initiative and being aggressive, it also got to the free throw line. The Jayhawks made nine of their 13 free throws in the first half, which was a surprise because the Sooners allowed just 12.7 free throws per game entering the contest.
Kansas started the second half on a 12-2 run that pushed its lead to 53-34. In the midst of the run, Garrett made another 3-pointer, along with senior guard Isaiah Moss, who totaled eight points on the afternoon.
Oklahoma started the second half 2-for-12 from the field, which helped supplement Kansas’ run.
The Jayhawks ended up outscoring the Sooners 46-38 in the second half, where they accounted for 10 of their 17 assists.
Garrett also scored 13 of his 24 points in the final 20 minutes.
Kansas' next game is set for Monday, Feb. 17, at Allen Fieldhouse against the Iowa State Cyclones. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. on ESPN.