No. 4 Kansas 74, No. 5 Oklahoma 67

Saturday, January 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Facing a history he desperately did not want to repeat, Drew Gooden chewed himself out something terrible.

It worked. Kansas' junior forward scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and led the fourth-ranked Jayhawks to a 74-67 victory Saturday over No. 5 Oklahoma.

``I got my mind right,'' he said.

Only twice in his previous 44 games had Gooden not scored in double figures _ both times against Oklahoma. At halftime Saturday, often double-teamed by a confusing Sooners defense, the Big 12's leading scorer had one field goal, two free throws and an air ball.

``I went in the locker room and I said, `Man ... I'm not letting this happen again,''' he said.

Leading a 30-8 run, the 6-foot-10 Gooden scored 13 of his team's first 24 points in the second half while forward Nick Collison, the other half of Kansas' strong inside duo, had 6.

``I just went out there and got my mind right and tried to bust the game wide open,'' Gooden said.

``I thought the first half we did a great job on Gooden and Collison,'' said Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson. ``They are so good at making hard shots. It's difficult to play two real big post scorers.''

But unable to stop Ebi Ere, the Jayhawks (15-2, 4-0 Big 12) almost let a 22-point lead slip away.

After Keith Langford's free throw gave the Jayhawks a seemingly safe 57-35 lead, Ere scored 10 points in a 14-0 run by Oklahoma (14-2, 3-1) that temporarily silenced the sellout crowd.

Kirk Hinrich ended the Kansas drought with a tip-in of Gooden's miss. Then Jeff Boschee, fouled by Ere on a 3-point attempt, made all three free throws.

But back came Ere, hitting a 3-pointer that made it 62-52 and gave him 10 straight points. Kansas, 3-0 against top 10 teams, got the lead back as high as 13 until Quannas White's three-point play made it 68-62 with 3:18 to go.

``It wasn't so much that we did anything wrong,'' said Hinrich. ``They're just an outstanding team. There's no way anybody is going to contain them all night.''

Collison totaled 17 points and Hinrich had 15 as Kansas ended Oklahoma's 13-game winning streak and dropped their record in Allen Fieldhouse to 7-38.

Oklahoma's defense, which held Nebraska to a school-record worst 24.6 percent shooting on Wednesday, spent the first half collapsing on Gooden and Collison.

``I'm not sure what it was,'' said Collison. ``Sometimes it seemed like a matchup zone and sometimes it seemed like a soft man-to-man. In the second half we just started getting our transition game going. They're the best mix of strength and quickness we've seen all year.''

Hollis Price, the Sooners' leading scorer, shot 1-of-7 from behind 3-point line and left with 11 points and an apparent ankle injury in the final seconds. Sampson said he should not miss the next game.

``We were saying just stay composed,'' said Price. ``Against a top 5 team you have to show you are a top 5 team.''

Ere and White each had 17 points for Oklahoma.

``Kids on both teams were playing as hard as they could possibly play,'' said Kansas coach Roy Williams. ``It was very physical though never dirty.''