There's no place like Norman

Oklahoma guard Hollis Price beats Kansas guard Keith Langford to a loose ball during Oklahoma's 77-70 win over the Jayhawks Sunday in Norman. Price and the Sooners sent 6th-ranked Kansas and Dorothy back home losers with their 77-70 win over the Jayhawks Sunday in Norman.

NORMAN - It didn't take long for Roy Williams and his sixth-ranked Jayhawks to realize they weren't in Kansas anymore. Not even the tapping of Dorothy's slippers would have saved Kansas from becoming another number in the nations' longest homecourt winning streak on this day.

Oklahoma stormed out of the gates in the first half and held off a late Kansas run in the final 15 minutes to move into a first-place tie with the Jayhawks, and improve their homecourt winning streak to 36 straight, after their 77-70 win Sunday in Norman.

"I said earlier this week in my press conference that I think they (Oklahoma) are playing the best basketball in the league right now," said Kansas Head Coach Roy Williams. "They are very close to being 12-0 in this conference."

The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders hitting 55 percent of their shots in the first half to take a 47-26 halftime lead.

Oklahoma pushed the lead to 59-27 early in the second half, but the Jayhawks would make it interesting down the stretch. KU used a 44-18 run from the 15:26 mark on and eventually cut OU's lead to six points after outscoring the Sooners 44-18, but it still wasn't enough.

"That says a lot about their team," said OU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. "They didn't hang their heads. They were going to come back and we knew that. We knew they would make a run but we felt our defense could step up, make plays and do what we had to do. So give Kansas credit for hanging in there."

"In the first half we didn't even belong in the building with OU," said Kansas Head Coach Roy Williams. "We didn't deserve to be in the same league. In the second half you have to feel good that the kids didn't quit, but even then they still missed some easy shots."

"We did have some good shots that we didn't make," Williams continued. "But you have to credit Oklahoma's defense. We did have some opportunities but, again, we didn't belong in the same league as OU."

Once again, Oklahoma's senior backcourt tandem of Hollis Price and Quannas White carried the Sooners.

Both Price and White scored 19 and scorched the nets from 3-point range in the first half. The two combined for six three's in the first half and connected on 9-of-11 3-point attempts overall.

Williams and senior guard Kirk Hinrich both had high praise for the play of Price and White.

"Hollis is great, but then again you expect that," Hinrich said. "Quannas White really shot it well tonight. He broke us down in one-on-one situations and hit some big shots."

"I would have to say he's (Price) my favorite player in the 15 years I've been in this league," said Williams. "Another player who doesn't get enough credit is Quannas White. He played his butt off tonight. I would love to have him on my team."

The Sooners also got major contributions off the bench from Joszef Szendrei and De'Angelo Alexander. Szendrei, who was forced to play 23 minutes after starting center Jabahri Brown suffered a concussion and Johnnie Gilbert got in early foul trouble, pulled down 11 rebounds against KU's stout frontline and chipped in four points. Alexander chipped in 12 points and hit several clutch free throws down the stretch to stave off the Jayhawks' comeback attempt.

Kirk Hinrich led the Jayhawks with 21 points while Wayne Simien came off the bench to add 17 points. Nick Collison pitched in 15 points and 14 rebounds.

"This was a big win and every game is really important," said Hollis Price. "We knew that we had a chance to tie Kansas for first place in the conference and we found a way to win."

"If somebody would have told me that we would have beat Kansas by two points, I would have taken it," said Sampson. "We beat a good basketball team today."

OU-KU Box Score:

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