Mason powers No. 2 Kansas to second-half surge over Sooners, 81-70
NORMAN, Okla. – Frank Mason III scored 28 points, including 19 in the second period, to power a second-half surge for No. 2/2 Kansas basketball over Oklahoma on Tuesday night at Lloyd Noble Center. The 81-70 win marks KU’s 400th victory under head coach Bill Self, as the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 candidate becomes the third coach in Kansas history to reach the mark.
The Jayhawks (15-1, 4-0 Big 12) have won 15-straight games, while Oklahoma (6-9, 0-4) remains in search of its first conference victory a year after advancing to the Final Four.
Senior center Landen Lucas contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double during conference play. Freshman guard Josh Jackson added 16 points and junior guard Devonte’ Graham added 13 points with five assists.
Kansas showed flashes of its high-octane offense in the first half as Jackson worked the ball around the court effectively, assisting Lucas for a wide-open dunk and finding Mason for a corner 3-pointer to give Kansas a 9-5 early lead. Mason’s first trey of the night also happened to put him past Wilt Chamberlain for 24th place on KU’s all-time scoring list.
Landen Lucas has three double-double in Big 12 play this season.
But the quick start transformed into a sluggish offensive performance in the first half, which featured a season-worst .344 shooting percentage and a season-low 27 points. Kansas faced its largest halftime deficit of the season – nine points, 36-27.
The Jayhawks came out of the locker room with resolve, starting the second half on a 13-0 run to gain control of momentum. KU reclaimed the lead just under three minutes into the second half on a Mason layup with 17:38 remaining.
“I think we responded pretty well as a team,” Mason said of KU’s second-half grit. “We’ve just got to come out better to start the game off the first half.”
A trio of 3-pointers, two from junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and one from Graham, fueled KU’s 13-0 run. The Sooners, who closed the first half on a 22-6 run, missed their first eight shots of the second half against a much-improved Kansas defense which held OU to 37 percent shooting on the night.
Mason, a 55 percent shooter from 3-point range this season, made all of his four 3-point attempts in the second half to push KU’s lead to as large at 15 points late in the game.
The Sooners were led by 13 points each from Rashard Odomes and Kameron McGusty. Oklahoma saw the return of All-Big 12 guard Jordan Woodard from a December injury.
Kansas will return home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m., on ESPN2. KU will then play its first of four ESPN Big Monday games at Iowa State on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks return home to host Texas on Jan. 21 at 1 p.m., on CBS.
KU STARTERS (CONSECUTIVE / SEASON / CAREER STARTS)
Sr. G Frank Mason III (90 / 16 / 93)
Jr. G Devonte’ Graham (23 / 16 / 52)
Jr. G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (6 / 6 / 12)
Fr. G Josh Jackson (16 / 16 / 16)
Sr. C Landen Lucas (5 / 10 / 43)
• Kansas leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 145-66.
• The Jayhawks have won 16 of the last 18 meetings against the Sooners.
• KU is 22-4 in Big 12 regular-season play against OU.
• Bill Self is 17-5 all-time against Oklahoma, including 16-3 while at KU.
ATTENDANCE: 9,788 (Lloyd Noble Center)
• In his home state of Oklahoma, Bill Self improves to 400-84 (.826) in his 14th season at Kansas. Self becomes the third head coach to reach 400 wins at the second-winningest program in college basketball history, joining Phog Allen (590 wins) and Roy Williams (418).
• Kansas came back from its largest halftime deficit of the season (nine points) to win its 15th-straight game. The Jayhawks found themselves down at halftime after scoring its fewest points in a half this season (27). KU previously scored 29 points in wins over Duke (first half, Nov. 18) and UNLV (second half, Dec. 22).
• Kansas recovered from its slow start by tying a team season high for points scored in a half (54). KU has scored 50 points or more five times this season, including twice during league play.
• Kansas made 12 3-pointers against the Sooners — the most in a Big 12 game since draining 13 treys in an overtime win at Iowa State on Feb. 25, 2013.
• In two Big 12 road games this season, Kansas has overcome deficits of 10 points at TCU (Dec. 30) and nine points at Oklahoma (Jan. 10).
• Second-half 3-pointers.
• Kansas shot 15-of-18 from the free throw line, including a 13-for-16 clip in the second half. During Big 12 play, KU is shooting 77.6 percent at the charity stripe — nearly a 20-percentage point jump from nonconference games (59.2 free throw percentage).
KU’s top-three winningest head coaches
Phog Allen (1907-09; 1919-56) – 590-219 (.729)
Roy Williams (1989-2003) – 418-101 (.805)
Bill Self (2004-present) – 400-84 (.826)
Kansas maintains these active streaks, all of which lead the nation:
• 12 Big 12 Conference regular-season titles
• 27 NCAA Tournament appearances
• 27 seasons with 20+ wins
• 51 wins at home, including 48 in Allen Fieldhouse
• 150 weeks ranked in AP Top 25
Senior G Frank Mason III
• Scored 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, with five assists and two steals in 37 minutes.
• Reached 20 points in a game for the ninth time this season and 13th time of his career.
• Set career highs in field goals made (11).
• Has made five 3-pointers or more in a game three times this season.
• Started in his 90th-straight game.
• His Big 12-leading season scoring average increases to 20.4 points per game.
• Passed Wilt Chamberlain on KU’s all-time scoring list. Finished the night with 1,459 career points.
Senior C Landen Lucas
• Scored 10 points with 13 rebounds in 31 minutes to notch his third double in the last four games — all during Big 12 play.
• Made all four of his free throw attempts.
• Averaging a double-double during league play with 12.8 ppg and 12.0 rpg.
Junior G Devonte’ Graham
• Scored 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting with five assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
• Co-lead the team in assists with Frank Mason III (5).
Freshman G Josh Jackson
• Scored 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting at the free throw line in 30 minutes.
Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
• Grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Junior F Dwight Coleby
• Played in his first-ever Big 12 Conference game.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick
• Scored all of KU’s points off the bench (five).
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