LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Brandon Rush scored 18 points and Mario
Chalmers made the go-ahead bucket as Kansas wiped out a 16-point
second-half deficit for a 59-58 win over Oklahoma (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) on Sunday.
Chalmers, one of three freshmen starting for Kansas (15-6, 6-2),
drove into the lane just a few seconds after Michael Neal made a
3-pointer for a 58-57 Oklahoma lead in a rematch between the
defending Big 12 co-champions.
Oklahoma (14-5, 5-3), which had won five in a row and beaten
Kansas three of their four previous meetings, seemed to seize
command with a 16-4 run early in the second half. The Sooners were
dominating the boards and Rush, Kansas' leading scorer on the year,
was having a poor shooting day after getting poked in the eye. He
had only six points in the first half.
With second place in the Big 12 at stake, Rush made two quick
3-pointers and the Jayhawks were off on a backbreaking 17-3 run
that brought the sellout crowd of 16,300 to its feet in the
nationally televised game.
Freshman Julian Wright hit a dunk off a fastbreak in the spree,
followed by buckets from Chalmers and Rush.
Wright hit a follow shot that finally tied it at 55 with 2:06 to
go. The 6-foot-8 freshman left dunked home a miss by Rush for a
57-55 lead with 53 seconds left.
After Chalmers followed Neal's 3-pointer to put the Jayhawks
back in the lead, the Sooners inbounded the ball with 19.1 seconds
left. Rush blocked Terrell Everett's shot, then Everett put it up
again but missed and the ball was tied up with 1.6 seconds to go.
Neal's 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.
The Jayhawks appeared rusty from a six-day layoff and missed 11
of their first 14 shots.
They found holes in the suffocating Oklahoma defense and
unleashed a 10-0 run, highlighted by Jeff Hawkins' crosscourt pass
to Rush for a fastbreak layup and a three-point play by Chalmers.
The Sooners took a 29-26 halftime lead after Taj Gray stole the
ball near midcourt and made a spectacular dunk a few seconds ahead
of the buzzer.
The Sooners shot only 34.8 percent against Kansas' NCAA-leading
defense, but the nation's rebound leaders held a 44-34 advantage
over Kansas on the boards.
Wright had 14 points for Kansas and Chalmers had 10. Everett had
14 and Gray 13 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma. Neal had 11