Skid Swells to Seven

NORMAN, Okla. -- After an early scoring flurry by each team, the Kansas Jayhawks used a forceful first half to take full command and dominated, sending the Sooners to their seventh straight loss in an 82-70 decision Saturday afternoon in front of a partisan KU crowd at Lloyd Noble Center, which featured an estimated 8,773 fans in attendance, but at least 4,000 of those in the road blue.

"Kansas is a great basketball team, incredibly efficient on the offensive end," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "We tried as much as we could in that first half to stop them. It's kind of like pick your poison. They had such an advantage of size against us. They were making shots behind the arc. They lead the country in field goal percentage, and they were in such a great rhythm."

Teams traded the lead three times in the opening 3:21, thanks to a trio of threes by each team.

Forward Tyler Neal and guard Cameron Clark hit trifectas for the Sooners, with Neal canning a pair, while guards Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Elijah Johnson all hit one in that stretch.

"It was kind of a shootout there early," Capel said.

After that, though, the Jayhawks went on a huge run.

A one-point Sooner lead then reversed and swelled to a double-digit advantage for Kansas thanks to a 19-6 spurt over a span of 7:13.

From there, the Sooners trailed by single digits just two more times, and they were both in the next couple minutes, when OU trailed 29-21 and 31-24.

A big reason why it turned out that way was because Kansas was able to shoot a sweltering 70.8 percent in the first half.

"It was frustrating [trying to defend them]," said OU guard Cade Davis, who finished with a team-high 19 points. "We were there help side. We were rotating over, and they did a real good job of swinging the ball and finding the open man. They were all shooting the ball really well, and they didn't miss too many."

Especially not in that opening frame, when they were 17-for-24.

But the Sooners weren't too bad themselves, shooting it 48.1 percent and making 13-for-27 in the first 20 minutes.

"We felt like that if we executed and got the ball moving, we would be able to get good shots offensively, which I thought we did," Capel said.

It just wasn't quite enough when considering how well Kansas was shooting it.

The Sooners saw themselves down 45-33 at intermission and couldn't ever really climb back into it after.

Kansas led by as much as 21 when it used an 11-0 run in the first 2:37 following the break after OU scored the first points of the second half.

But OU battled and because of that, it trimmed the deficit back to near single figures.

"We fight, we try to leave everything we have out on the floor each and every game," Davis said. "We know that's what we have to do to compete and stay in games with people like Kansas."

Nonetheless, moral victories are still moral victories, and it still goes down as another loss.

The resolve and relentlessness to keep competing, though, was obviously there.

"The coaches are always telling us each and every day that you can either fight or you can quit," Davis said. "That's something that you'll live with the rest of your life. If you quit now you'll quit now with everything else in your life. Just having a mentality of staying the course, always competing, never giving up.

"These guys have really taken that to heart, they've shown pride and they've tried to show as much pride as they can for this university and for the fans."

And they'll get two more opportunities to do so in the regular season, with contests at Texas Tech on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and against Oklahoma State at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.

Postgame Coverage:

Head coach Jeff Capel's Presser

Player Postgame Interviews

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