Sharp-Shooting Selden Powers No. 18 Kansas at Oklahoma, 90-83
NORMAN, Okla. — All but unstoppable to start his career-high night, freshman guard Wayne Selden, Jr., sent a spark through the Jayhawk offense to ignite No. 18/20 Kansas past Oklahoma to open Big 12 Conference play with a 90-83 win, Wednesday evening inside the Lloyd Noble Center.
Kansas (10-4, 1-0) opened conference action on the road for the first time in three years and was forced to do so against an Oklahoma (12-3, 1-1) squad that entered the evening as the best-scoring team in the league. With an inevitable high-scoring night ahead, the Jayhawks embraced it. Surpassing the 90-point mark for the third time this season, and the first time in a conference-road opener since 2002, KU was charged by a season-high tying eight three-pointers – thanks in large part to Selden.
Aside from his career-high 24 points, Selden hit six of his first eight shots and tied KU’s season-high with nine field goals on 17 attempts, but was even more impressive from three-point territory. His five treys marked the most by a Jayhawk this season. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis joined him on the leaderboard with his second double-double of the year with 22 points and 11 rebounds. He led the Jayhawks’ season-best 80 percent effort at the free throw line (24-for-30), by hitting 10 of his 12 attempts.
Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe provided additional ammo with his 17 points as he and freshman guard Conner Frankamp teamed up to provide the other three three-pointers made by someone other than Selden.
Oklahoma senior guard Cameron Clark, the Big 12’s third-leading scorer, led the floor on Wednesday night. His 32 points included a nearly seven-minute stretch in the second half where he did all of his team’s scoring. He was joined by sophomore guard Buddy Hield’s 18 points as the offensive leaders.
As a unit, Kansas outrebounded Oklahoma by an impressive 36-22 margin, Oklahoma’s lowest output on the boards this season.
Not seven minutes into the high-tempo contest, Selden already had a new career-high in three pointers when his third long ball put the Jayhawks up, 20-14. When Frank Booker answered with a three on the other end, Selden came right back with a layup. He laid in yet another after a Jamari Traylor block resulted in a fastbreak for his 15th point – tying his previous career high – in just eight minutes.
Meanwhile, his teammates were equally hot-handed as they got out to a 10-of-12 shooting start and a 20-11 lead. As predicted, the Sooners continued to score despite a shooting percentage that stayed below 50 percent for the entirety of the first half. A pair of free throws knotted the game at 37-37 with just under four minutes remaining in the opening frame.
High-powered offense led to high-powered scoring and, ultimately, high-powered emotions. Oklahoma shook off its 10-for-22 shooting effort in the first half by taking advantage of its 22 trips to the line. The Sooners went 19-for-22 from the line after Kansas fell into the double bonus early in the game. By the time Wiggins was called for a foul away from the ball, those emotions found their outlet in a technical foul called on head coach Bill Self. After controlling the lead for much of the first half, Kansas watched OU take the lead on the ensuing free throws, 43-39.
This time it was Self’s turn to provide the spark. After play resumed following the technical shots, Ellis knocked down four-straight free throws and was the reason behind the steal that ended up in Frankamp’s hands, who responded with his first three-pointer in more than a month. He hit another jumper in the final seconds to fuel the Jayhawks’ 11-1 run that closed the first half in favor of Kansas, 50-44.
The Sooners restarted following the break, knocking down five of their first eight attempts, but struggled to keep pace with Kansas. Although Selden’s scoring was front-heavy in the first half, he swung right back into action to start the second. The freshman’s back-to-back three-pointers quickly pushed the KU lead past the 10-point mark, 65-54.
Ignoring OU’s attempt to protect its home court, the Jayhawks kept the tempo to their liking and stayed in front by double-digits for the majority of the second half. Clark turned a KU turnover into a pull-up jumper on Oklahoma’s end to cut into the lead, 74-67. Ellis came back with a layup, but the Sooners were picking up steam – led completely by Clark. A free throw followed by four-straight baskets saw Clark bring his team to within four, 76-72, forcing a Kansas timeout.
While Clark kept coming at Kansas, Kansas kept coming at him. Tharpe was crucial. His second three-pointer of the game kicked the lead back out to seven, and he nailed a jumpshot on the next trip down the floor to put KU up 83-75 just under the five-minute mark.
Oklahoma kept clawing, but Kansas didn’t budge. Free throws from Tharpe and Ellis pushed KU to the 90-point mark and a final block from Wiggins ended the night with a Jayhawk road win, 90-83.
Kansas returns home to host No. 25 Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. on ESPN. The Jayhawks will have a short turnaround after the K-State contest as they will play their first of four ESPN Big Monday games at No. 9/7 Iowa State on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. Kansas and No. 11/12 Oklahoma State were co-preseason Big 12 favorites and the Cowboys will come to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. on CBS.
KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts): Jr. Naadir Tharpe (11/11), Fr. Wayne Selden, Jr. (14/14), Fr. Andrew Wiggins (14/14), So. Perry Ellis (14/17), Fr. Joel Embiid (6/6)
SERIES INFO: Kansas leads 140-65
ATTENDANCE: 10,779 (Capacity 12,000)
- Improved Kansas to 10-4 on the season
- Extended KU’s conference-opening winning streak to 23 games dating back to the 1991-92 season
- Made the Kansas-Oklahoma series 140-65 in favor of KU
- Gave the Jayhawks the 18-16 edge over the Sooners in games played in the Lloyd Noble Center
- Improved Bill Self to 12-4 all-time against Oklahoma, 310-63 while at Kansas and 517-169 in his 21st season overall
- Made KU 2,111-816 all-time
- KU’s 90 points in the win are the most points scored in a road-Big 12 opener in the Bill Self era. The last time KU chalked up 90+ points in a conference-opening game was a 97-85 win at Colorado (1/5/02).
- The most points scored in a conference road opener is 102, done in victories at Missouri (102-89, 1/9/95) and Texas (102-72, 1/10/98).
- Wednesday’s matchup at Oklahoma marks the first time KU has opened the Big 12 season on the road since traveling to Ames, Iowa to play Iowa State on Jan. 12, 2011.
- The Jayhawks have won its conference opener in every year of the Big 12 Conference’s existence.
- KU went 4-for-9 from three-point range in the first half, marking the third time this season that the Jayhawks have had four threes by halftime and the first since the UTEP game (11/30/13).
- Kansas shot 64.3 percent (18-for-28) in the first half, the fifth time this season that the Jayhawks shot 60 percent or better in a half.
- Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. (24) and sophomore F Perry Ellis (22) makes three different games this season that multiple Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points (vs. Duke; vs. Toledo).
- Kansas has outrebounded 12 of its 14 opponents, including a 36-22 advantage against Oklahoma. The Sooners’ 22 rebounds were a season-low by 10 boards (previously 32).
- Oklahoma’s 22 rebounds are the first time the Jayhawks have held an opponent to fewer than 25 rebounds since Texas Tech grabbed 21 on March 14, 2013.
- Kansas has held all 14 opponents under 50 percent shooting from the field after keeping OU at 45.3 percent (24-for-53) on Wednesday.
- KU held OU to seven assists right after holding San Diego State to a season-low six helpers.
- From the 10:09 mark to the 3:53 mark in the second half, senior G Cameron Clark was the only player to score for Oklahoma. He tallied 12-straight points during that stretch.
- The Jayhawks saw three or more players score in double figures for the 13th time this year.
- For the second-straight game and the fourth time this season, freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. scored the first points of the game for Kansas.
- Selden went on to tie his career-high with 15 points in the first half and broke it when he scored KU’s first basket of the second half. He ended with 24 points, the second-highest scoring output by a Jayhawk this season (Andrew Wiggins, 26 vs. Florida).
- Within the first six minutes of the game, Selden hit two three-pointers to tie his career-high and broke it by the seventh minute when he drained his third. Selden’s five three-pointers are the most by any Jayhawk this season. He became the fourth different player to surpass the 20-point plateau in 2013-14.
- Selden’s five makes from behind the arc are the most by a Jayhawk since Ben McLemore went 6-for-6 against Iowa State almost one year ago (1/9/13).
- Prior to Wednesday’s contest, sophomore F Perry Ellis had scored just two points in each of his games against the Sooners – a stark contrast to his double-double effort on Wednesday. He cranked out 20+ points for the fifth time this season along with his second double-double of the year, third of his career.
- Freshman G Conner Frankamp checked in for the first time the Georgetown game (12/21/13) and hit his first three-pointer since the Towson game (11/22/13). His five points tied a career-high.
- Junior G Naadir Tharpe scored 17 points with one turnover, giving him 52 points and seven turnovers in his last four games.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor racked up five points, five rebounds and two blocks in his 22 minutes, giving him multiple blocks in five games this season.
- Freshman G Andrew Wiggins scored nine points, just his second game not in double-digits this season. He tied his career-high with two blocks.
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