Detrick, Sooners end streak with win over KSU

Oklahoma guard Jason Detrick shoots over Kansas State guard Jarrett Hart in the second half of the Sooners 61-49 win over the Wildcats Saturday in Norman. Detrick hit three of his six three-point attempts and led the Sooners with 24 points. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooner men's basketball team entered Saturday's home game against Kansas State with their backs against the wall. Sampson's boys knew that the game against the Wildcats was important for several reasons, but perhaps most of all this game was pivotal for the mostly young squad to gain some much needed confidence.

The Sooners entered Saturday's game with a 0-3 record, which is the first time that a Sooner squad has posted such a mark since the 1980-81 season. The Sooners also came into the game knowing that key contributor Kevin Bookout will be out for the remainder of the season after finally deciding to undergo surgery on his shoulder. The Sooners were looking for anything and anyone to step up and take this team in another direction.

"I met with the team last night so they would all know that Kevin would be out of the year," Kelvin Sampson said. "I think it gave our team a sense of closure. I appreciate everything Kevin has done for us this year. He's really been an emotional inspiration. He'll have surgery and be back this summer and 100 percent for next season."

So that left one question: "Who is going to step up and lead this team?"

Two seniors, Jabahri Brown and Jason Detrick, answered that question today with an emphatic: "I will!"

Brown provided a much needed offensive and defensive spark in the early minutes of the game and showed flashes of brilliance, leaping for rebounds and contesting nearly every shot that the Wildcats attempted.

Brown helped lead the first half effort that created 13 turnovers and eight steals. He ended the game with seven points, four rebounds and three steals.

Jason Detrick finally put together a game that reminded Sooner fans of the Detrick of old. Detrick was key in the late minutes of the game when the surging Wildcats tried to climb back into the game, but thanks to some superb outside shooting by Detrick and partner in crime Drew Lavender, the Cats never were able to really make it close.

Detrick led all scorers today with 24 points going 8-14 from the field and 3-6 from 3-point range, also ending the game with four boards and three steals.

Another player that raised their game a notch today was Johnnie Gilbert. Gilbert shined on defense with six points, two blocks, three steals and seven boards.

The Sooners pulled together a total team effort in today's game to come away with a victory, despite shooting just 36 percent from the field.

"We didn't shoot the ball well, but I thought we played well," Sampson said. "I liked the way our guards played tonight. We've been changing some things up and sliding players around to find out what works best for us."

The Sooner defense controlled the game and forced KSU to turn the ball over 21 times, as OU only managed to turn the ball over 12 times, which is the Sooners' second lowest total of the season.

Sampson points to the Sooners' effort on the defensive side of the ball as the true difference in today's contest.

"We worked things around and found out what worked best for us," Sampson said. "We have been running a zone and it's very impressive that we had 14 steals from our zone defense. Another thing I was impressed with tonight was our teams' rebounding. Bookout is our best rebounder and our team knew that they had to step it up. Jason Detrick had some great offensive rebounds tonight."

The Sooners started out the game well, as they jumped out to an early lead 8-2. After an early 5-0 run by KSU, it was evident that the Cats weren't going to go down without a fight.

Thanks to the spectacular play of Brown, the early run by KSU was halted and the Sooners jumped ahead again stretching their lead to 23-15.

The Sooners went into halftime with a 16-6 run and a 32-21 lead.

The Sooners picked up right where they left off in the second half and extended their lead to 46-29. The Sooners led by as much as 19 points at one time, but the Wildcats came back and got it as close as 34-46.

But thanks to the effort of Jason Detrick and Co., the Sooners were able to hold off the Wildcats' advances and marched into the locker room, victorious, for the first time in three weeks – winning 61-49.

The infectious hustle and heart that the two seniors, Brown and Detrick, showed today will go a long way towards building this team up and showing everyone why the Sooners should still be counted upon as one of the Big 12's most dangerous squads.

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