No. 9 Kansas Upset by Unranked Oklahoma as De'Vion Harmon Drops 22 Points

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2021

Oklahoma guard De'Vion Harmon (11) gestures to fans late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

No. 9 Kansas suffered its third straight loss as unranked Oklahoma pulled away late to score a 75-68 victory Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

De'Vion Harmon paced the Sooners with 22 points. Austin Reaves added 16 points for OU, which won the rebounding battle 36-25.

Marcus Garrett led the way for the Jayhawks with 21 points and 12 boards. KU remains winless since its Jan. 9 win over Oklahoma in the teams' first meeting.

Kansas has lacked a player who can take over the game when its offense is struggling. It doesn't have somebody like Devon Dotson, Dedric Lawson or Devonte' Graham, who filled that role in recent years.

The Jayhawks also continued a trend of turning the ball over too much in key situations.

Oklahoma went on a 14-6 run midway through the second half to take control of the game for good. Four of KU's 12 turnovers came during that stretch of just over four minutes.

Kansas is still a solid team overall. It ranks 15th in KenPom's rankings following the loss, rating 21st in offensive efficiency and 19th in defensive efficiency.

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The Jayhawks just need a leader to emerge, and perhaps Garrett's 21-point effort is a sign he's ready for the challenge. He's the team leader in assists (3.9 per game), but taking the onus on himself to create more individual offense would go a long way.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has climbed back into the Big 12 race thanks to three straight victories after dropping three of its first five games in conference play.

Harmon has been the difference. He's led the Sooners in scoring in all three of those wins after doing so just once during the squad's first 10 contests.

"For us it was about energy, play a 40-minute game, don't come out slow, come out with energy and play rock-and-roll defense," the sophomore guard said on the ESPN broadcast after the game (via Matthew Postins of Heartland College Sports).

Oklahoma will continue to get challenged in the weeks ahead. Six of its next seven games are against currently ranked opponents, starting with a road game against No. 5 Texas on Tuesday.

Kansas is off until Thursday, when it returns home and tries to get back in the win column against TCU. It won a prior matchup with the Horned Frogs, 93-64, on Jan. 5.