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Strong second half powers Kansas over Oklahoma

Jan 7, 2012 - 11:42 PM Norman, OK (Sports Network) - Travis Releford scored a career-high 28 points as No. 14 Kansas used a dominating second half to pull away for a 72-61 victory over Oklahoma at Lloyd Noble Center.

Releford connected on 9-of-13 shots, including a 3-for-5 mark from three-point range on the way to his career-best performance for the Jayhawks (12-3, 2-0 Big 12). Thomas Robinson added 18 points and nine rebounds in Kansas' fifth straight win.

Steven Pledger paced Oklahoma (10-4, 0-2) with 14 points, while Andrew Fitzgerald and Carl Blair each netted 11 for the Sooners, losers in three of their last four.

Oklahoma held a 34-33 lead after the first 20 minutes while making 47.8 percent of its shots and holding Kansas to 42.4 percent shooting from the floor.

But the second half was a completely different story, with the Sooners connecting on just 29.6 percent of their shots and scoring six points through the first 11 minutes of the half.

Kansas dropped in 29 in that span to jump out to a 62-40 lead with under nine minutes to play and the Jayhawks cruised to the victory from there, leading by double digits for the remainder of the game.

"I thought that the 10 minutes, or whatever it was, to start the second half was probably the best run we've had all year," Kansas head coach Bill Self said. "That 10 minutes was enough to put us over the top."

After Kansas took an early 2-1 lead on Elijah Johnson's layup, Oklahoma reeled off a 9-3 run to take their largest lead of the game, 10-5.

The Jayhawks, though, quickly answered with a 13-3 spurt that included nine points by Releford to equal Oklahoma's five-point lead at 18-13.

However, a Fitzgerald jumper followed by a Pledger three-pointer on back-to- back possessions by the Sooners knotted that game at 18 and it remained a one- possession game for the rest of the first half, with Oklahoma recording four of the final six points to take a 34-33 lead into the break.

"I think we came out in the first half and were really strong on both ends of the court. We seemed very active and that's a fun way to play," said Oklahoma forward Romero Osby. "The second half we kind of got staggered and we started standing around too much on both ends of the court, and we let things slip away from us."

Game Notes

Kansas holds a 137-64 lead in the all-time series which dates back to 1920...Johnson finished with nine points and five assists...Osby recorded nine points and nine boards...Kansas outscored Oklahoma in the paint, 48-16...Each team had 34 rebounds.