Sooners Cage the Jayhawks
NORMAN —Ana Llanusa led all scorers with 21 points, Madi Williams earned a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma defeated Kansas, 78-67, inside Lloyd Noble Center on Wednesday.
The Sooners (6-17, 2-10 Big 12) finished with four players in double figures as OU won its fourth straight meeting at home against Kansas (12-11, 2-10 Big 12).
OU grabbed a 35-30 halftime lead after shooting .600 (15-of-25) from the field in the first half. The Sooners pushed their advantage to double figures twice in the third quarter, but the Jayhawks stormed back to make it a one-possession game heading to the fourth quarter.
The Sooners turned to their defense in the final frame as Kansas was limited to just one field goal on its final 11 attempts as OU pulled away for the win.
“It feels good to have more points than the other guys, I can tell you that. I thought our offense cadence tonight was the best it’s been in a long time," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "We were able to establish an early rhythm together and a lot of that had to do with Madi (Williams) not being in early foul trouble and being able to stay on the floor. I thought Ana (Llanusa) was fantastic from start to finish.
"I really liked our poise for a young team that hasn’t won too much. To get challenged the way we did in the fourth quarter and to be able to stand strong and make plays in the final five minutes was impressive. They were mature in the timeouts and handled the direction that we gave them really well. I think that’s a great sign for the future.”
Llanusa led the Sooners in scoring for the fourth straight game, picking up her third 20-point scoring performance in the last seven games. The sophomore was 7-of-15 from the field and 6-for-7 at the foul line in the win, while adding four rebounds and two steals.
Williams earned her sixth double-double of the season and was 7-of-15 from the floor, while recording three assists and a block in 32 minutes. The Fort Worth, Texas, native's six double-doubles this season are tied for the second most by an OU freshman in the Coale era.
Jessi Murcer added 12 points and finished 4-of-7 from the field, while knocking down 3-of-4 attempts at the charity stripe. Taylor Robertson hit a pair of 3-pointers and recorded 10 points. The freshman also picked up five rebounds.
Mandy Simpson logged eight points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists. The sophomore's putback off a miss from Llanusa with 0:58 to play sealed the win for the Sooners.
“It was a lot of trust, I did that (drove inside) a couple times but I know Mandy (Simpson) was going to be there," Llanusa said. "She was down there rebounding really hard. But that last one was definitely a turning point, it felt good. There was still time left in the game so we had to play, but it felt good.”
OU finished outshot Kansas, .492-.397, from the field and .455-.233 from deep. Kansas was 6-for-6 (1.000) at the free throw line, while the Sooners posted a .750 clip (15-of-20) at the stripe. The Sooners won the rebounding battle, 44-30, and scored 20 second chance points.
Austin Richardson led the Jayhawks with 17 points, finishing 7-of-11 from the field with three treys and five rebounds. Aniya Thomas also scored in double figures, chipping in 11 points.
The win marked OU's 11th victory over Kansas in the last 13 meetings. OU is 26-7 against the Jayhawks in the Big 12 era.
The Sooners head to Waco to face No. 1/1 Baylor on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest +