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Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 1:21 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(23) Oklahoma 71, (7) Kansas 63

NORMAN, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Freshman David Godbold's coming-out party knocked Kansas from the top spot in the Big 12 Conference.

Godbold scored a season-high 15 points to lead No. 23 Oklahoma to a 71-63 victory over seventh-ranked Kansas, which has lost three in a row for the first time in 11 years.

With the loss, Kansas fell into second place in the league, one-half game behind No. 4 Oklahoma State, which visits Nebraska on Tuesday. With 10 straight wins to start conference play, the Jayhawks had held or shared the lead in the Big 12 all season.

Godbold scored nine points in a first half dominated by the Sooners (20-6, 9-4 Big 12). Oklahoma made 5-of-10 3-pointers before halftime, the last by Godbold with 74 seconds left that matched his club's largest lead, 37-18.

"Godbold has no fear," Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson said. "He steps in there and makes shots and gets boards. He can get to the foul line, make threes and get to the basket."

The 6-5 freshman grabbed seven rebounds, helping a strong effort on the boards by Oklahoma's starting backcourt. Fellow guard Terrell Everett led the way with eight.

"The key was having good rebounding guards," Sampson said after his team earned a 29-26 edge on the boards.

The Sooners took a 37-22 advantage into the break and led thereafter despite a strong rally by the Jayhawks (20-4, 10-3), who pulled within 49-48 on a jumper by Wayne Simien with 7:38 left.

Oklahoma, which has won three in a row since a season-high three-game losing streak earlier this month, responded to Kansas' run with an 11-4 burst capped by Godbold's jumper for a 60-52 lead with 2:34 left.

The Jayhawks sliced the deficit to four points on three occasions in the closing moments, but Everett scored on a breakaway layup with 61 seconds left and Drew Lavender made four straight free throws in the last 30 seconds to seal it.

"We jumped on them early and that was a big key to the game," Everett said. "Once we got the lead we played smart basketball and we were able to maintain our momentum. The win adds confidence heading into our last stretch of the season."

Everett scored 19 points and Johnnie Gilbert added 12 for the Sooners, who have won at least 20 games in eight straight seasons.

"(Godbold and Everett) were the best two players in the game," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We couldn't keep Everett out of the lane, and Godbold made shots. They were OU's best performers."

Simien scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half and Langford added 16 to lead Kansas, which shot 52 percent (23-of-44) from the field but still lost in regulation for the first time in conference play this season.

"We were horrible in the first half, and OU was really good defensively," Self said. "They played with great energy, and they did a great job defensively of not letting the ball get in tight."

Kansas hosts Oklahoma State on Sunday.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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