The Kansas Jayhawks had little trouble in the first half vs. the Oklahoma State Cowboys from Allen Fieldhouse as Bill Self’s club used two big runs to distance themselves from Marcus Smart and the Cowboys to take a 47-30 lead after the first half.
Kansas shot 17-34 in the first half and clamped down on defense as they limited Oklahoma State to 8-26 shooting after the first 20 minutes.
Oklahoma State displayed poor shot selection in the first half to bury them as Oklahoma State’s top two scorers Smart and Markel Brown combined for 1-10 shooting while Kansas was able to get to the rim for high percentage shots.
However, the second half was a completely different story as the Cowboys were within one-point with 54 seconds remaining after a ferocious second half comeback led by Phil Forte III who hit seven three’s and led the team with 23.
Le’Bryan Nash had a shot to win the game for Oklahoma State as time expired but was unable to get a clean shot off as the Jayhawks prevailed 80-78.
Kansas improved to 13-4 on the season and 4-0 in the Big 12 with the win and was the deeper team today as they had nine different players score compared to six for Oklahoma State who didn’t have the bench necessary to pull off the road upset despite a valiant effort in the final 20 minutes.
Kansas looks to win their fifth straight game and fourth straight vs. a ranked opponent when they host the No. 12 Baylor Bears on Jan. 20. Oklahoma State (15-3, 3-2) will look to regroup next Saturday when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers.