Dedric Lawson had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Kansas’ young backcourt made enough crucial plays when it mattered, and the No. 5 Jayhawks held off No. 23 Oklahoma 70-63 on Wednesday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Devon Dotson added 16 points and fellow freshman Quentin Grimes had 14 for the Jayhawks (12-1), 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) nearly turned the trick again Wednesday night, rallying just about every time the Jayhawks went on a run. And when Charlie Moore missed two free throws in the final minute, Aaron Calixte’s off-balance runner got them within 67-63 with 31 seconds to go.
Dotson made the second of two foul shots at the other end for Kansas. Calixte and Kristian Doolittle then came up empty for Oklahoma before Dotson made two more free throws to seal the win.
Lagerald Vick finished with 12 points for Kansas, despite an off night shooting the ball. He was 2 of 7 from beyond the arc, where the Jayhawks were just 4 of 21 as a team.
Brady Manek led the Sooners with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
at No. 6 Nevada 72, Utah State 49: Jordan Caroline scored 15 points and No. 6 Nevada matched a school record with its 14th straight victory to begin the season, beating Utah State on Wednesday night.
Cody Martin and Tre’Shawn Thurman had 14 points apiece in the Mountain West Conference opener for the Wolf Pack (14-0, 1-0), one of four undefeated teams in the nation.
Sam Merrill led Utah State with 16 points.
Nevada held the Aggies (10-4, 0-1) to 26 percent from the floor. They entered averaging 81 points per game on 48 percent shooting.
at No. 8 Michigan State 81, Northwestern 55: Nick Ward scored all 21 of his points in the first half to help Michigan State build a big lead and beat Northwestern.
The Spartans (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten) have won seven straight this season and 10 consecutive games against the Wildcats. Northwestern (9-5, 0-3) had won three of four, losing only to No. 23 Oklahoma in overtime.
Michigan State made up for the loss of shooting guard Joshua Langford, who missed the game with an injured left ankle, with five players scoring in double figures. Cassius Winston had 13 points and matched a career high with 12 assists while Xavier Tillman equaled his career high with 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kyle Ahrens scored 11 points, and Matt McQuaid added 10.
Northwestern’s Derek Pardon scored 19 points and didn’t have much help offensively.
No. 11 Texas Tech 62, at West Virginia 59: Jarrett Culver scored all of his 18 points in the second half, and Texas Tech overcame some early shooting troubles to beat West Virginia in their Big 12 opener.
Matt Mooney added 14 points and Davide Moretti had 12 for Texas Tech (12-1).
Lamont West led West Virginia (8-5, 0-1) with 22 points. Derek Culver finished with 12 points.
Each of Texas Tech’s previous wins came by double digits. The Red Raiders had to scrape and claw to earn this one. The Red Raiders surrendered a nine-point lead in the second half. Moretti’s 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining put Texas Tech ahead for good, 55-54.
Culver, who played most of the game in foul trouble, scored six points in the final 41 seconds, and Moretti made one of two free throws with 3.3 seconds left for the final margin.
at No. 15 North Carolina 77, Harvard 57: Luke Maye scored 14 points to help North Carolina beat Harvard.
Cameron Johnson and Coby White added 13 points apiece in the Tar Heels’ final nonconference game. North Carolina led 44-39 early in the second half before pulling away with a 22-3 run. Harvard missed 11 consecutive shots from the floor as North Carolina extended its lead to 66-42 with 6:20 to play.
Nassir Little scored 12 points and Kenny Williams had 11 for the Tar Heels (10-3). Robert Baker scored 10 points for Harvard (6-6). The Crimson had 22 turnovers.
at No. 19 Houston 74, Tulsa 56: Corey Davis Jr. scored 21 points and hit six 3-pointers and Houston remained undefeated, beating Tulsa 74-56 night in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Houston (14-0) extended the longest home winning streak in the nation to 27 games.
Nate Hinton had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Galen Robinson Jr. added 10 points for Houston. The Cougars shot only 37 percent, but outrebounded Tulsa 52-40, including 16-9 on the offensive glass, and had an 18-7 edge in second-chance points.
Martins Igbanu had 18 points and eight rebounds for Tulsa (10-4). The Golden Hurricane shot 31 percent from the field, and had their five-game winning streak snapped.
at Maryland 74, No. 24 Nebraska 72: Jalen Smith made a driving layup with 3.8 seconds left to break a tie, and Maryland used a late push to get past Nebraska.
Bruno Fernando had 18 points and 17 rebounds, Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 19 points and Smith accounted for Maryland’s final seven points to finish with 15.
Maryland (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten) trailed 71-70 before Smith made a follow-shot off a 3-point try by Cowan with 28 seconds left. After James Palmer converted 1 of 2 free throws for Nebraska, Smith drove the middle of the lane for his decisive layup. Following a timeout, Nebraska (11-3, 1-2) tried to work the ball up the court before Ricky Lindo Jr. knocked away a pass under the basket.
Palmer scored 26 points for the Cornhuskers.
at UC Santa Barbara 109, Bethesda College 47: Freshman Jay Nagle came off the bench and made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lead UC Santa Barbara in a 109-47 rout of NCCAA-member Bethesda on Wednesday night.
UC Santa Barbara (11-3) has won five of its last six games and improved to 7-0 at home. The Gauchos open Big West Conference play hosting Cal Poly next Wednesday.
Ami Lakoju had 16 points and 11 rebounds for UC Santa Barbara. Amadou Sow added 14 points and Ar’Mond Davis 10.
Sekou Toure added another 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Gauchos, and reserve Robinson Idehen chipped in with 11 points.
Joante Avery scored 11 points to lead Bethesda. UC Santa Barbara shot 56 percent from floor, but just 1 of 11 from 3-point range for a 44-19 halftime lead.