Photo: Rich Sugg / TNS
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Dedric Lawson had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Kansas’ young backcourt made enough crucial plays when it mattered, and the fifth-ranked Jayhawks held off No. 23 Oklahoma 70-63 on Wednesday night.
Devon Dotson added 16 points and fellow freshman Quentin Grimes had 14 for the Jayhawks (12-1, 1-0 Big 12), who survived a nervy final minute to win their 28th consecutive conference opener.
The last time Kansas lost its initial Big 12 game was against Oklahoma on Jan. 8, 1991.
The Sooners (11-2, 0-1) nearly turned the trick again Wednesday night. And after former Cal guard Charlie Moore missed two free-throw tries in the final minute, Aaron Calixte’s off-balance shot cut the Sooners’ deficit to 67-63 with 31 seconds to go, but Dotson made three free throws to seal it.
“Even though we didn’t do a lot of good things, we’ve won a lot of games like tonight over the course of the years,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “You don’t play great but you make sure the other team doesn’t play quite as good as you do.”
#6 Nevada 72, Utah State 49: In a Mountain West opener, the host Wolf Pack moved to 14-0 for the first time since the 1951-52 season behind Jordan Caroline’s 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Aggies (10-4) were led by Sam Merrill’s 16 points.
#8 Michigan State 81, Northwestern 55: Nick Ward scored all 21 of his points in the first half to help the host Spartans (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten) build a big lead over the Wildcats (9-5, 0-3).
#11 Texas Tech 62, West Virginia 59: Jarrett Culver scored all of his 18 points after halftime, and the visiting Red Raiders (12-1) overcame early shooting woes to beat the Mountaineers (8-5) in their Big 12 opener.
#15 North Carolina 77, Harvard 57: Luke Maye scored 14 points as the host Tar Heels (10-3) wrapped up their nonconference slate. North Carolina led 44-39 early in the second half before pulling away from the Crimson (6-6) with a 22-3 run.
#19 Houston 74, Tulsa 56: Corey Davis Jr. had 21 points with six three-pointers as Houston (14-0) stayed undefeated, beating Tulsa (10-4) in an American Athletic opener.
Maryland 74, #24 Nebraska 72: Jalen Smith made a driving layup with 3.8 seconds left to break a tie, and the host Terrapins (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) used a late push to top the Huskers (11-3, 1-2).
Two SJSU losses: Fresno State handed both San Jose State teams lopsided losses in the teams’ Mountain West openers. The Spartan men lost 73-53 at home. Michael Steadman led San Jose State (3-10) with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The women (1-11) lost 77-48 in Fresno.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/No-5-Kansas-holds-off-No-23-Oklahoma-13505053.php.