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Bill Self wins 400th game as No. 2 Kansas tops Oklahoma

By The Sports Xchange 

NORMAN, Okla. -- Down nine at halftime, Kansas coach Bill Self peeled paint off the walls in the Jayhawks' locker room.
"I can't tell you the message," Kansas point guard Frank Mason III said after an 81-70 comeback victory over Oklahoma on Tuesday night at Lloyd Noble Center. "It was ... I can't even say it. Coach got on to us. I think we responded pretty well as a team."
Mason was the driver in the comeback, scoring 18 of his 28 points in the first 10:04 of the second half to lead the No. 2 Jayhawks (15-1, 4-0 Big 12).
Self's message immediately hit home as Kansas scored the first 13 points after the break by hitting five of its first seven shots -- including three 3-pointers--while the Sooners went 0 for 7 coming out of halftime.
"We guarded better and rebounded a little better and then Frank took over and everybody else just kind of followed," Self said.
After going 3 for 11 from behind the 3-point line in the first half, the Jayhawks were 9 of 16 in the second.
Four of those second-half threes came from Mason.
"He took over and everybody else just kind of followed," Mason said. "I don't know that we've ever had one that could score points in bunches like he can."
The win was another milestone one for Self and the Jayhawks as Self became the third coach in Kansas history with 400 career victories at the school. In the previous game, the Jayhawks became the second program in Division I with 2,200 all-time wins.
The Sooners, energized by the return of leading scorer Jordan Woodard, led 36-27 at halftime.
Woodard missed the previous four games -- one with an upper-leg injury and three with an undisclosed non-basketball related medical condition.
For the first time in his Oklahoma career, Woodard came off the bench. Shortly after Woodard entered, the Sooners kicked off a 24-6 run to end the half. He finished with seven points, five rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes.
"I really didn't expect him to play that many minutes," Kruger said. "I thought he got tired a couple of times, naturally, and got out. But I thought overall he was very, very good."
Self also praised the Sooners, who dropped their seventh consecutive game to fall to 6-9, 0-4.
"Their pieces are going to be good," Self said. "They were better than us for 20 minutes -- a lot better than us. That game could've easily gone the other way.
"They look like a bunch of talented young kids trying to figure it out."
After No. 1 Baylor fell earlier Tuesday at West Virginia, Kansas could be in position to move to the top spot next week if it can win at home this weekend against Oklahoma State.
That's not something that Self particularly relishes.
"I was actually happy Baylor jumped us, to be candid," Self said. "We don't deserve that. I've coached for a while and I've felt like there are some teams that put in the time and the effort and the toughness to earn that, but I don't feel like this team quite has.
"If we win Saturday, we could go to that, but I'd much rather be 5-0 (in the Big 12) than be ranked No. 1 in the country."
NOTES: Phog Allen is Kansas' all-time leader in coaching wins with 590, ahead of No. 2 Roy Williams with 418. Self's .826 winning percentage is the best in Jayhawks' history. ... Kameron McGusty made his first career start for Oklahoma. The Sooners used seven different lineups this season after not making an in-season lineup change in the three previous campaigns. ... No Sooners player other than Jordan Woodard had more than one assist. ... Former Kansas star Nick Collison, an NBA veteran with the nearby Oklahoma City Thunder, watched the game near midcourt with Thunder general manager Sam Presti. ... Kansas hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday. Oklahoma hosts Texas Tech.
Bill Self wins 400th game as No. 2 Kansas tops Oklahoma Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 3:32 AM Rating: 5

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