Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-61 victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 7, 2012.
KU players Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-61 victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 7, 2012.
Norman, Okla. Kansas University forward Travis Releford made quite an impression on Oklahoma’s players and coaches following his 28-point effort in KU’s 72-61 victory on Saturday at Noble Center.
“He made shots from everywhere and attacked and finished at the line. Big game for him,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “They’ve got a lot of different guys that can do that on different nights, and that’s one of the things that makes them very tough.”
Releford came into the game as KU’s fourth-leading scorer at 8.8 points per contest.
“In the Big 12, you pay attention to scouting report, but everybody can play,” OU guard Sam Grooms said. “As much as you say, ‘Yeah, we’re worried about Thomas Robinson. We’re worried about Tyshawn Taylor. We’re worried about the big-men guys,’ you still have to be worried about the guys that don’t get as much publicity as everyone else, because they make plays. He played well.”
Releford’s 28 points were the most scored by an opponent against OU this year. The previous high was Santa Clara’s Evan Rocquemore, who posted 27 points on Nov. 25.
Releford made nine of 13 shots and three of five three-pointers.
“He played hard, and he did exactly what any player in the Big 12 that’s allowed to have open shots will do,” Grooms said. “He made shots, and that helped his team out a lot.”
Oklahoma (10-4, 0-2 Big 12) actually led, 34-33, at halftime before struggling to start the second half.
Kansas scored 23 of the first 27 points after intermission.
“We opened up very careless with the ball right there, which gave them a little margin,” Kruger said. “Not only did we turn it over, we turned it over with them shooting layups, which is the worst of both worlds.”
Grooms said Oklahoma didn’t play as hard in the second half as it could have.
“We started off great (in the first half), and we did everything that we were asked to do. We rebounded. We were intense. The crowd was into it,” Grooms said. “And I think once they hit a couple of baskets, we went downhill.
“We started getting down on ourselves rather than being up.”
Oklahoma forward Romero Osby noticed the same drop in energy after the first half.
“We seemed very active, and that’s a fun way to play,” Osby said. “But in the second half, we got stagnant. We started standing around a little too much on both ends of the court, and we let it slip away from us.”