Sooners can't hold on in Lawrence

Oklahoma blew a 16-point second half lead Sunday in Lawrence in a 59-58 loss to Kansas. (AP Photo)

Despite building a 16-point second half lead, 18th-ranked Oklahoma dropped a devastating 59-58 loss to unranked Kansas Sunday in Lawrence.

The Sooners led 50-34 with 10:24 left and 53-38 with with 7:31 to, but couldn't close the deal as the Jayhawks used a 15-0 run to tie the game and then got a running jumper in the lane by Mario Chalmers with 20 seconds left that would prove to the game-winning shot

Oklahoma had three shot attempts in the final seven seconds to win the game, but Michael Neal's 3-point attempt at the buzzer came up short.

"For 33 minutes I thought we played with great courage, with composure, great poise. We just couldn't take care of the ball," said Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson, who is now 0-7 at Allen Fieldhouse where the Sooners haven't won since the Billy Tubbs era (1993).

"I knew coming in that the key to this game would be guard play, and I thought our guards were tremendous for 33-34 minutes. But when a team gets down, they get desperate. They're just going just cut loose and get after you on defense, and you've got to be able to handle it."

Other than the lackluster ballhandling by the Sooner guards down that stretch that led to two easy Kansas buckets in their 15-0 run, Oklahoma just couldn't make enough shots to keep the Jayhawks at arm's length.

The Sooners scored just four points and hit only two of their 14 shot attempts in the final 7:31 of the game. OU shot 43.3 percent from the floor in the first half, but hit just 10 of their 36 shot attempts (27.8 percent) in the final 20 minutes.

"I can't think of any time that we've been on the road in this kind of environment in this kind of atmosphere for 33 minutes and played as good as we played," said Sampson.

"Then they made a little run when they made a couple of three's and got it down to 10. You've got to answer. There's no magical formula in this. We had a ton of shots that seemed like they were hanging on the rim."

Terrell Everett led the Sooners with 14 points, while Michael Neal added 11 off the bench.

Taj Gray chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds but hit just 6 of his 17 shot attempts, missing several from close range. He also recorded a team-high four turnovers.

With the loss, Oklahoma falls to 5-3 in Big 12 play and 14-5 overall. The Sooners have now lost their three Big 12 games by a combined total of four points.

With the win, Kansas moves into second place at 6-2 in conference action and 15-6 overall.

OU will face another tough road text Wednesday at Oklahoma State.

OU-Kansas Box Score

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