January 3, 2019 / 4:34 AM / 15 days ago

No. 5 Kansas opens Big 12 season, beats No. 23 Oklahoma

Junior forward Dedric Lawson overcame a slow start to record 13 points and 15 rebounds Wednesday night as No. 5 Kansas tripped visiting No. 23 Oklahoma 70-63 at Lawrence, Kan.

The victory was the 28th in a row for the Jayhawks in a conference opener, dating back to their days as a Big Eight member. It was also the 18th consecutive home win for Kansas against Oklahoma.

Lawson, a Memphis transfer who averages a double-double, posted his eighth double-double in 10 games. He gave the Jayhawks (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) a big lift after coach Bill Self elected to use Lawson in the low post as part of a small lineup.

Oklahoma (11-2, 0-1) used a 9-0 run to begin the second half, cutting the lead to 40-34 as Kansas missed its first eight shots of the second half. The Jayhawks, however, thawed out behind Lawson and freshman point guard Devon Dotson, who added a team-high 16 points.

Freshman guard Quentin Grimes and senior guard Lagerald Vick added 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The Sooners, who excelled in nonconference play after they were picked eighth in the Big 12 preseason poll, pulled within four in the final minute but missed two inside shots before fouling Dotson with 15.6 seconds left.

Sophomore forward Brady Manek (16 points, 11 rebounds) and senior guard Christian James (11, 12) each contributed double-doubles for Oklahoma. James was only 4 of 15 from the field after entering with a 17.9-point average.

Kansas used a 15-0 tear to gain a 21-11 lead after falling behind 7-0 at the outset. Grimes netted 11 points to help the Jayhawks establish a 40-25 halftime advantage.

Junior center Udoka Azubuike added eight points and six rebounds, but was scoreless in the second half with three rebounds.

Manek scored nine first-half points to lead the Sooners, who shot just 11 of 31 (35.5 percent) from the field.

One of Oklahoma’s top inside threats, Jamuni McNeace, played just two minutes because of a nagging ankle sprain.

—Field Level Media

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