No. 1 Kansas Eases By Oklahoma, 81-68
Feb. 22, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -Xavier Henry scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half and No. 1 Kansas clinched at least a share of its sixth straight Big 12 regular season title with an easy 81-68 victory over Oklahoma on Monday night.
Kansas (27-1, 13-0) didn't wait to clinch its latest title, sewing it up with three games left after doing it in the final week the past three seasons. The Jayhawks overwhelmed overmatched Oklahoma (13-14, 4-9) from the start, building a 17-point lead in the first half and shooting 51 percent overall to extend the Sooners' Lawrence losing streak to 10 games.
Sherron Collins added 17 points and joined fellow senior Brady Morningstar for their 124th win together, most all-time in Kansas' storied history. The Jayhawks have won 13 straight games for their best start since opening 34-1 in 1996-97 and have the nation's longest home winning streak at 58 games.
The latest win over Oklahoma - now six straight overall - gives Kansas six consecutive conference titles for the first time since claiming the Missouri Valley crown from 1922-27, when Phog Allen was the coach and not the name on the gym. The Jayhawks have won more conference titles than any other Division I program, 53 in all, and 10 of the 14 Big 12 championships since the conference's inception in 1996.
Next up could be a piece of history: win its final three games and Kansas can join the 2002 Jayhawks as the only team to go through the Big 12 undefeated.
Tommy Mason-Griffin led the Sooners with 17 points and Andrew Fitzgerald had 16.
Henry led the way against Oklahoma.
The smooth-shooting lefty played like one of the top recruits in the country early in the season, setting a Kansas freshman debut record with 33 points and averaging a team-leading 17.2 points over the first 11 games. He then went into a funk, his scoring average dropping nearly eight points over the next 12 games, including a five-game stretch where he failed to reach double figures.
Henry returned to form against Iowa State two weeks ago, scoring 16 points, and followed that up with a 24-point effort against Colorado on Saturday.
His confidence clearly back, Henry was unstoppable in the first half against the Sooners, hitting 3-pointers and powering in the lane for three-point plays. He opened with a hard-driving and-one and didn't hesitate to pull the string on jumpers, hitting all seven of his shots for 18 points by halftime.
Henry finished 9 of 13 from the field.
Stopping Henry wasn't Oklahoma's only problem.
Playing without leading scorer Willie Warren (ankle, illness) for the fifth time in nine games, the Sooners missed their first 11 shots and didn't score until Fitzgerald hit a jumper from the free-throw line 6:34 in to trail 11-2. Oklahoma made a brief run late in the half, only to see Kansas pull away toward another title.