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Sooners' Comeback Attempt Falls Short Against Kansas

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Before the game, Lon Kruger told his team, “It’s your building, right here. Take care of business.” But despite tough efforts, the Sooners failed to prevail over Kansas, falling 76-72.

Kansas opened the game high-tempo, taking a 10-6 lead by the first timeout.

OU initially struggled from the field, making just two of their first 11 and 0-5 from long range. The Jayhawks were doing a very good job containing Buddy Hield.

KU soon extended their lead 17-6 midway through the half. At this point, Oklahoma, who leads the country in three-point field goals, was 0-9 from deep.

A minute later, OU was already in the bonus. 

Isaiah Cousins sparked some life with a three-ball, trimming OU’s deficit and keeping the Sooners in striking distance.

OU cut Kansas’ lead to single digits (32-23) with 3:27 before intermission and was 9-of-12 from the free throw line.

After halftime, at the 18:28 mark, the Sooners took a 39-38 lead, their first since the opening minute of the game. 

With a combined effort from Hield, Jordan Woodard and Cousins, OU advanced its advantage 46-45. Kansas soon tied the game and then reclaimed the lead by two. 

Hield a.k.a Buddy Buckets stepped up and did what he does best and took over, sinking back-to-back threes to give the Sooners a 52-48 lead. Hield was 0-3 from the three-point line in the first half but was three for four halfway through the second. 

Both teams went back and forth as Hield kept OU in it. With a few minutes before the final, Woodard stepped up for a huge four-point play but Kansas bounced back with a four-point play of their own (with 1:10 before the buzzer).

The Jayhawks went on to win 76-72.

In the rematch, Hield finished with 24 points. In his last showing against Kansas the Sooner star finished with a career-high 46 points in the team’s 109-106 loss, the most scored against a top five team in 20 years and tied the most ever by an opponent in Lawrence.

"We don't like to lose anywhere, but certainly you need to protect your home court,” said Kruger. “We have to find one somewhere else now as a result of this. So yeah, when you lose at home this late it's tough to get it back."

Kansas head coach Bill Self said despite the loss to his Jayhawks, OU is going to finish the season strong. 

“They're loaded, and they are too good and they care too much not to," said Self. "So [with the win] we know that we put ourselves in a decent position. But [there’s] a lot of ball left."

Next, the Sooners will hit the road to Lubbock to face Texas Tech on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.

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