April 15, 2024

Dickinson scores 20 points, grabs 16 rebounds to help No. 6 Kansas rally and top No. 25 Oklahoma

Kansas center Hunter Dickinson (1) goes against Oklahoma guard Le'Tre Darthard (0) and center Luke Northweather (45) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Garett Fisbeck)

By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Hunter Dickinson delivered his usual dominant performance and Kevin McCullar pushed Kansas over the top.
Dickinson had 20 points and 16 rebounds, McCullar made key contributions in his return from a knee injury, and the sixth-ranked Jayhawks rallied to beat No. 25 Oklahoma 67-57 on Saturday.
McCullar was back after missing two games, including a 79-50 loss to Texas Tech on Monday. The Big 12’s leading scorer finished with 10 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes.
“I thought he was definitely out of sorts, out of rhythm,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “But he played within himself. We don’t win the game unless he plays.”
Johnny Furphy had 15 points, nine rebounds and three steals and Dajuan Harris had 11 points, seven assists and no turnovers for the Jayhawks (20-6, 8-5 Big 12).
Dickinson, a 7-foot-2 center, ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring and first in rebounding. He had 24 points and 14 rebounds in the first matchup between the teams — a 78-66 win for Kansas at home on Jan. 13.
This time, he made 9 of 16 field goals and had four assists.
“Hunter was Hunter,” Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said. “He’s just a load.”
Kansas now has won the last seven meetings with Oklahoma.
Jalon Moore had 17 points and Javian McCollum added 15 for the Sooners (18-8, 6-7). Otega Oweh, the team’s No. 2 scorer with 12.3 points per game, finished with three points on 1-for-7 shooting.
Oklahoma was missing two of its top reserves. John Hugley IV, a 6-foot-10, 275-pound forward/center, was out with a knee injury, while Rivaldo Soares, a 6-6 guard, was out with a left ankle injury.
Kansas trailed for much of the game but took a 49-46 lead on a 3-pointer by McCullar with about nine minutes remaining. The Jayhawks pushed their lead to 60-50 on a layup by Harris and controlled the game from there.
The crowd was energetic from the start. Though the home fans were loud, a significant group of Kansas fans made the trip and were heard from when the Jayhawks made big plays.
A 3-pointer by McCollum gave Oklahoma a 23-16 lead in the first half, and another 3 by McCollum put the Sooners up 28-18. Oklahoma pushed the lead to 11 late in the half. Kansas surged, but Oklahoma still led 34-29 at halftime behind 13 points from Moore.
Oklahoma made just 4 of 22 field goals, including 1 of 11 3-pointers, in the second half. Self said the team changed its ball screen coverage at halftime, and the players executed it well.
“We made a pretty significant change, and it’s really not that subtle,” he said. “It’s pretty significant. And the guys didn’t screw it up.”
Even with that, the Sooners still had a chance. But they were outrebounded 22-13 in the second half.
“We felt if we took care of the ball, we rebounded and he knocked down a couple of shots in the second half, it’s a different game,” Moser said.
BIG PICTURE
Kansas: The Jayhawks needed this one after the embarrassing loss to Texas Tech. They locked the Sooners down and outrebounded them 40-29. Self said the team isn’t in the position it hoped to be in, but they still are in a good spot heading down the stretch.
Oklahoma: It would have been a great win for the Sooners, but they went cold, as they have at times this season. Their scrappiness and energy couldn’t overcome Kansas’ talent or their lack of depth.
UP NEXT
Kansas: Hosts Texas on Saturday.
Oklahoma: Visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.