Henry Lowers the Boom on the Sooners

Xavier Henry (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Xavier Henry scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half to lead No. 1-ranked Kansas to an easy 81-68 victory against Oklahoma late Monday night.

With three regular season games remaining Kansas clinched at least a share of its sixth straight Big 12 regular season title.  In addition KU posted its 123rd victory, for its most in a four-year period in school history.   
 
Kansas improved to 27-1 on the season and a perfect 13-0 in Big 12 Conference play.  The Jayhawks have won 13 straight games this year, as well as 58 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the nation and second longest in school history (62 from 1993-98).  Oklahoma fell to 13-14 overall and 4-9 in league play while losing its fifth straight game.
 
Xavier Henry made each of his first eight shots from the field en route to his second-straight 20-plus point game and fourth this year.  In the last five games Henry has averaged 18 points per contest.
 
Sherron Collins added 17 points for the Jayhawks, including 10 in the second half, while Tyshawn Taylor scored 11 in his second straight start.  Marcus Morris chipped in 10 and Cole Aldrich, who was named the Academic All-American of the year earlier in the day, had seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
 
Oklahoma was led by Tommy Mason-Griffin, who finished with 17 points.  Andrew Fitzgerald added 16, while Cade Davis chipped in 13.
 
The Jayhawks shot better than 50 percent from the field for the second straight game, hitting 51.7 percent.  Defensively, KU held the visitors to just 41.3 percent shooting.
 
Kansas led by as many as 23 points early in the second half before Oklahoma whittled the margin down to 12 twice in the final three minutes.  However, KU pulled away at the end en route to the victory.
 
Henry scored 18 points in the first half to help Kansas to a 44-29 advantage at halftime.  The freshman made all seven of his shots, including two three-pointers.
 
Oklahoma started out slow missing its first 11 shots from the field as KU jumped out to a 9-0 lead six and one-half minutes into the game despite hitting just four of its first 11 attempts.
 
Eight different Jayhawks scored the first nine baskets of the game as only Henry had more than one hoop.  After Thomas Robinson made consecutive baskets to put KU up 22-7, Oklahoma responded with just its third basket - all by Fitzgerald - to go three of 17 from the field with eight minutes left.
 
Trailing 26-9, the Sooners went on a 10-0 run to pull within 26-19 with 5:54 left in the period.  Oklahoma hit four of six shots in the run before Henry drilled a three-pointer and then scored on a traditional three-point play on the following possession to push the margin to 32-19 at the 5:20 mark.
 
Kansas will have a few days off before playing at Oklahoma State on Saturday.  That game will be televised on CBS with tipoff time set for 3 p.m.

Phog.net Recommended Stories