Kansas Beats No. 3 Oklahoma 87-78, Takes Over First Place in Big 12

Feb. 23, 2009

Box Score | Notes

NORMAN, Okla. – Behind career performances from Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor and Cole Aldrich, the University of Kansas men’s basketball team took over sole possession of first place in the Big 12 when it defeated No. 3 Oklahoma in front of 12,625 screaming Sooner fans Monday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

The conference road win gave Kansas a 23-5 overall record and 12-1 conference mark. The Sooners fell to 25-3 overall, 11-2 in conference play and second in the Big 12 standings.

On a night where both teams built big leads, it was the guard play of Collins and Taylor, and the rebounding of Aldrich, that sealed Kansas’ biggest win over a ranked team of the season. Collins and Taylor each scored 26 points, tying a career-high for Collins and setting a new career high for Taylor. Aldrich grabbed a career-best 20 boards to go with 15 points.

OU freshman Willie Warren led the Sooners with 23 points.

Kansas took control of the contest jumping out to a quick 6-2 lead, but Oklahoma – playing without National Player of the Year Candidate Blake Griffin – answered quickly. Powered primarily by Warren, OU went on an impressive 20-2 run and led 22-8 with 9:44 on the clock. Warren scored 10 of his team-high 12 first half points during the run.

Kansas and its young team were not about to fold, however. Kansas’ Taylor, a freshman, would not be outdone by Warren as he pumped in 16 first half points to help Kansas completely erase the lead and take a 36-29 lead into the locker room. The impressive 14-point comeback ranked only second to the 16-point comeback the Jayhawks produced at K-State nine days before. Aldrich added eight points and nine boards to the KU first-half effort.

To open the second half, KU continued to pull ahead and led by 20 with the score 58-38 with 10:38 remaining. With their backs against the wall, the Sooners went to the long ball. Within minutes OU had hit four 3-pointers, and by the 5:28 mark it was a four-point game at 66-62 in favor of KU.

Collins took over the final five minutes hitting three big treys as Kansas coasted to the final score of 87-78 with help from solid free throw shooting. In the second half, KU shot 20-of-30 from the charity stripe with a number of those misses coming with the game all but already decided.

Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse Sunday for a rematch with Border Showdown rival Missouri at 1 p.m. on CBS.