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Top-ranked Kansas had to hang on for dear life to beat Oklahoma on Monday night. Nothing less than what Jayhawks coach Roy Williams had expected.
After seemingly taking control with a big first-half run, the visiting Jayhawks survived to win 70-68 only after Oklahoma missed three shots in the closing seconds.
“If you had told me before the game that we would win just like that … I’d have been the happiest soldier in the army because I thought it’d be that kind of game,” Williams said.
The Jayhawks (28-1, 14-1 Big 12) had sewn up the conference title on Saturday with an emotional, senior-day victory over Kansas State. They had lost two straight in Norman, and were playing in front of the largest crowd (12,875) in Oklahoma history.
But they showed their mettle in overcoming a slow start, and gave a textbook display of their balance.
Jacque Vaughn scored 16 points and Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce each had 14 for the Jayhawks, who lost here when they were ranked No. 1 in 1995 and No. 3 in 1996.
“This is a game we’ll be able to look back on with a lot of satisfaction,” Vaughn said.
Nate Erdmann scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half, and Corey Brewer scored 19 for Oklahoma (16-9, 8-7).
“I don’t know when I’ve ever been more proud of a team, win or lose,” coach Kelvin Sampson said. “I’ve seen Roy bring three teams in here and this is the best one. He’s got a special team.”
Kansas was able to silence the crowd with a 28-6 run over the final 8 minutes of the first half as it opened a 15-point halftime lead.
(4) Utah 75, Rice 66
At Houston, Keith Van Horn scored 20 points and helped put down a second-half scare as the Utes clinched the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division title with a victory over the Owls.
The Utes (21-3, 13-1) took a 39-23 halftime lead and were ahead 43-23 in the first minute of the second half. The Owls exploded with a 27-9 run that cut Utah’s lead to 52-50 with 9:05 left.
Jarvis Sanni led the Owls’ streak with 10 points and finished with 22 to lead Rice (12-12, 6-8).
(19) Colorado 65, Wofford 58
At Boulder, Colo., Chauncey Billups scored 15 points and the Buffaloes reached the 20-victory plateau for the first time since 1968-69 with a 65-58 win over Wofford on Monday night.
The Buffaloes (20-7), who are 12-1 at home this season, had to battle back from a seven-point deficit early in the game.
Wofford (7-19) took a 13-6 lead with 13:17 left in the first half. The Buffaloes then scored 12 of the next 13 points, taking the lead for good at 16-14 on a three-point play by Ronnie DeGray.
(25) Stanford 97, San Diego St. 50
At Stanford, Calif., Kris Weems and Ryan Mendez each scored 14 points as the Cardinal overwhelmed the Aztecs.
David Moseley had 13 points, Mark Madsen 12 and Tim Young 10 along with nine rebounds as Stanford (17-7) rebounded from last Saturday’s 75-61 loss at Washington with its second-biggest victory this season. The 47-point margin was one under the 109-61 victory over UCLA earlier this year.
Chad Nelson’s 17 points led San Diego State (12-13), which remained winless in three meetings against Stanford.
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