OU can't stop Simien, Kansas

Kansas forward Wayne Simien dunks the ball during the first half of the Jayhawks 79-58 win over Oklahoma Sunday in Lawrence. Simien finished with seven dunks and led all scorers with 26 points. With the loss, the Sooners fall to 6-8 in Big 12 play and 16-9 overall. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Oklahoma's road to the NCAA tournament ran into another road block in their final Big 12 road game, and its name was Wayne Simien.

KU's manchild power forward walked over Oklahoma like Godzilla trouncing through Tokyo as the Jayhawks (18-7, 10-4) dealt the Sooners their fourth straight loss, 79-58, Sunday in Lawrence.

"Any team with a (Wayne) Simien magnifies our weaknesses inside," said OU Coach Kelvin Sampson, who is now 0-6 against Kansas in Lawrence. " Give them credit. They were very, very good today. They've got three kids who've played on two final four teams in Simien, (Keith) Langford and (Aaron) Miles, and I thought they played well today."

Simien finished with seven dunks and led all scorers with 26 points. Langford added 22 points and Miles dished a game-high 10 assists.

The Jayhawks jumped out to a quick 20-7 lead, but the Sooners closed the last five minutes of the first half with a 10-5 run to cut KU's lead to 36-31 at halftime.

Simien started the second half with a dunk, but a De'Angelo Alexander 3-pointer and a Johnnie Gilbert layup cut KU's lead to 38-36 with 18:14 to go. Simien answered again with a tip-in and Jason Detrick responded with a layup to cut the lead back to two again with 17:42 to go.

But that would be as close as the Sooners would get, as the Jayhawks quickly responded with with an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to break the game open for good.

"I thought the last eight minutes of the first half we gave ourselves a chance," said Sampson. "Then the first minutes of the second half we got the ball twice with a chance to take the lead and then we started giving up too many transition baskets."

"It still comes down to making shots for us," Sampson continued. "Then we had some breakdowns. We had a lot of turnovers led to easy baskets for them. When you're' playing a team as good as Kansas, you've got to make them earn it."

Overall, the fact that Oklahoma didn't shoot the ball well and Kansas did proved to be the biggest difference. Kansas shot 53.4 percent from the field while the Sooners only hit on 40 percent of their shots.

Lawrence McKenzie, who lost his starting spot to Alexander for the Kansas game, came off the bench to lead Oklahoma with 15 points. Jason Detrick was the only other Sooners in double figures with 10.

The Sooners will now return to Norman for the final two games of the regular season against Texas A&M (Wednesday) and Baylor (Saturday). Tip-off for the A&M game is scheduled for 8 p.m.

OU-KU Box Score

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