The Kansas basketball team’s revenge week started just the way the Jayhawks envisioned Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
A few weeks removed from its loss at Oklahoma in late January, KU throttled Oklahoma in the rematch, 104-74, ahead of its much-awaited trip to Texas Tech this coming Saturday.
Four Jayhawks posted double-digit points as the home team shot 61 percent from the floor against the reeling Sooners (16-11, 6-9).
Although OU freshman point guard Trae Young is one of the nation’s most heralded talents, Kansas limited him to 3-of-13 shooting and 11 points.
View a gallery of images from Monday night's game between the Jayhawks and Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse.
It was KU senior Devonte’ Graham who put on the offensive show on this night, leading the game with 23 points and dishing seven assists.
Sophomore Kansas guard Malik Newman hit the 20-point mark, too, making 7 of 11 shots and 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Recently slumping Svi Mykhailiuk enjoyed the OU defense he saw, as well, adding 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Junior Lagerald Vick put up 17, converting 7 of 11 attempts.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Kansas (22-6, 11-4) blitzed the Sooners out of the gate.
OU found itself in a 10-0 deficit less than four minutes in, as the locked-in Jayhawks bludgeoned the visitors with a Graham 3-pointer, a Mykhailiuk layup, a Vick 3 and a Vick dunk right off the bat.
KU didn’t let up in the minutes that followed, either, which made the game’s opening minutes so devastating for the Sooners’ chances.
Both Graham and Newman cashed in from behind the arc in the next two minutes. By the time Graham connected on another jumper and Mitch Lightfoot threw down a slam, KU had made 8 of 11 shots and extended its lead to 16 less than seven minutes in.
Yes, OU was able to get its deficit down to 10 by halftime. Still, the Jayhawks’ hot start and overall focus made keeping the Young-led Sooners down significantly easier.
• Offensive highlight: Nothing ignited the fieldhouse crowd quite like the most unexpected bucket of the night.
Freshman backup big man Silvio De Sousa — you know, the guy who had did-not-plays in two of KU’s last four games — made his most memorable basket as a Jayhawk in the second half.
Already with a career-high eight points behind him, De Sousa showed off his power to reach double figures.
As Mykhailiuk drove to the paint, De Sousa slipped behind OU’s defense on the left baseline. Mykhailiuk flipped a pass over his head and toward the rim. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound freshman on the receiving end made the crafty pass look even better, hammering in a two-handed jam for a 74-57 Kansas advantage.
• Defensive highlight: The Mitch Lightfoot block party.
Bill Self puts Lightfoot on the floor for his energy, and, man, did the backup sophomore forward deliver right off the bat.
Less than two minutes after checking in for Azubuike, at the 14:43 mark of the first half, Lightfoot had added three blocked shots to his stat line.
First Lightfoot got up to deny Khadeem Latin inside. On the very next Sooners possession, Young drove into the paint looking for some easy points but left with nothing, as Lightfoot swatted the likely NBA lottery pick.
Shortly after, Lightfoot stymied Lattin yet again, contributing to Oklahoma’s 2-of-14 shooting start.
Perhaps inspired by Lightfoot’s denials, when Azubuike returned to the lineup for him, the first thing the sophomore center did was smack a Young layup attempt out of the air.
• Key stat: Three-point shooting. The Jayhawks were feeling it in the first half and their 9-for-17 success from downtown made a double-digit lead for the final 14:58 leading into intermission possible.
Newman proved to be the most effective marksman, draining 3 of 5 before the break, making the sophomore guard KU’s leading scorer, with 11, in the opening 20 minutes.
Both Mykhailiuk and Vick made 2 of 3 from deep, and Graham made 2 of 6.
Kansas buried 16 of 29 in the victory — the most since making 17 at Texas in late December — with help from Graham’s 3-for-5 3-point shooting in the second half.
• Up next: It’s the most anticipated game on the Big 12 schedule — Kansas at Texas Tech (3 p.m., ESPN). The league’s two first-place teams face off in a game that could decide the conference championship. The Red Raiders won in Lawrence, 85-73, on Jan. 2.