LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Dedric Lawson had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Kansas' young backcourt made enough crucial plays when it mattered, and the No. 5 Jayhawks held off No. 23 Oklahoma 70-63 on Wednesday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Devon Dotson added 16 points and fellow freshman Quentin Grimes had 14 for the Jayhawks (12-1), who survived a nervy final minute to win their 28th consecutive conference opener.
The last time Kansas lost its initial Big 12 game was against Oklahoma on Jan. 8, 1991.
The Sooners (11-2) nearly turned the trick again Wednesday night, rallying just about every time the Jayhawks went on a run. And when Charlie Moore missed two free throws in the final minute, Aaron Calixte's off-balance runner got them within 67-63 with 31 seconds to go.
Dotson made the second of two foul shots at the other end for Kansas. Calixte and Kristian Doolittle then came up empty for Oklahoma before Dotson made two more free throws to seal the victory.
Lagerald Vick finished with 12 points for Kansas, despite an off night shooting the ball. He was 2 of 7 from beyond the arc, where the Jayhawks were just 4 of 21 as a team.
Brady Manek led the Sooners with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Doolittle added 10 points and Christian James had 11, though he was just 4 of 15 from the field and 1 of 7 from beyond the arc.
In other Top 25 men's games Wednesday, Nick Ward scored all 21 of his points in the first half to help No. 8 Michigan State build a big lead and beat Northwestern 81-55. ... Jarrett Culver scored all of his 18 points in the second half, and No. 11 Texas Tech overcame some early shooting troubles to beat West Virginia 62-59 in their Big 12 opener. ... Luke Maye scored 14 points and Cameron Johnson and Coby White added 13 points apiece to help No. 15 North Carolina beat Harvard 77-57. ... Corey Davis Jr. scored 21 points and hit 6 three-pointers and No. 19 Houston remained undefeated, beating Tulsa 74-56 in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams. ... Jalen Smith made a driving layup with 3.8 seconds left to break a tie, and Maryland used a late push to get past No. 24 Nebraska 74-72.
TAMU-CORPUS CHRISTI 87, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 75
DeAndre Jones scored a team-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 5 three-pointers, but the University of Central Arkansas fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in its Southland Conference opener Wednesday at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Islanders (6-8, 1-0 Southland) used two separate 7-0 runs in the first half to pull away. The first took just over two minutes off the clock and expanded an 8-7 lead to 15-7. A three-pointer by Hayden Koval with 13:30 left in the first half ended the run, cutting the lead to 15-10. But the Islanders then went on their second 7-0 run over the next 2:22, taking a 22-10 lead with 11:08 remaining. That run ended when Eddy Kayouloud hit two free throws with 10:44 left to cut the lead to 22-12.
The lead continued to build, and the Islanders held a 42-34 halftime advantage, but the Bears managed to make it close for a while in the second half. A three-pointer by Jones with 12:18 left cut the lead to 55-52, and two free throws by Aaron Weidenaar trimmed the lead to 57-55 with 11:35 remaining. Khaleem Bennett hit two free throws with 9:29 left, cutting the lead to 61-60 before a Thatch Unruh three-pointer tied the game at 63-63. The Islanders then went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Jashawn Talton layup, over the next 3:30 to take a 71-63 lead.
Unruh finished with 14 points for the Bears (5-9, 0-1 Southland) and Koval chipped in with 12. Kareem South led the Islanders with 22 points, Emmanuel Toney had 13, Talton finished with 12 and Elijah Schmidt added 11.
Sports on 01/03/2019
Print Headline: Kansas wins Big 12 opener again