Men's basketball: Sooners look to reclaim victory against Kansas
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team will have a difficult task on its hands as it tries to get back into the win column against Kansas at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.
Both the Sooners (14-7, 5-4 Big 12) and the Jayhawks (19-3, 7-2 Big 12) come into the game on a two-game losing streak.
“We didn’t respond very well to the Kansas State game,” coach Lon Kruger said. “For the first time all year, we came out of a loss and didn’t respond like you would want to.”
“I think that one took a little something out of us, and we didn’t have much pop [in the next game].”
After that 52-50 loss to Kansas State, OU came out flat against Iowa State and was handed one of this season’s worst defeats, 83-64.
On the other side of the matchup, Kansas also picked up one of its worst losses of the season in its last game against TCU.
The Jayhawks shot a dismal 29 percent from the field and only managed to score 13 points in the first half of what eventually became a 62-55 loss.
“We’ve lost two games, they’ve lost two games,” senior forward Romero Osby said. “They’re going to come in here fired up. They’re still the No. 5 team in the nation until that changes.”
Osby and his frontcourt mate, junior forward Amath M’Baye, will have their hands full against Kansas’ senior center Jeff Withey.
In the last matchup between the teams, a 67-54 Kansas victory, Withey dominated the Sooners with 13 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
The OU forwards will have to limit his effectiveness and also play to their own potential if they hope to lead the Sooners to the upset.
In the last game, neither player had a great game, as M’Baye finished with eight points and six rebounds while Osby had six points and six rebounds.
“All we have to do is do our job and things will take care of themselves,” M’Baye said. “I expect a lot of myself and out of this team so the results have been okay, but I think that we can all agree that we could have done better.”
The Sooners certainly hope they will start doing better this Saturday, as this is an extremely important game for OU.
“Every game is a must win,” M’Baye said. “We all want to win this game. It’s going to be a fun one.”