Late Rally Not Enough as Jayhawks Fall to Cowboys, 85-80

Feb. 2, 2013

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — A barrage of baskets in the final minute of the game was not enough for Kansas men’s basketball to fight off Oklahoma State as the Jayhawks fell 85-80 in Allen Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped Kansas’ NCAA-leading 18-game win streak on the season and ended KU’s 33-game win streak on James Naismith Court.

The Jayhawks trailed 77-69 with 1:01 to play in the game after two free throws from Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Eleven seconds later, redshirt freshman Ben McLemorecashed a three to close the gap to just five points.

After fouling Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash, who missed the first of two free throws, freshman Andrew White IIIdrilled a crucial three after sitting for more than 39 minutes of the game. White III stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled on a layup attempt, resulting in a trip to the free throw line. White knocked down one of two to cut the Oklahoma State lead to 78-76.

Following a quick Kansas foul, Oklahoma State’s Phil Forte knocked down two free throws to push the Cowboys’ lead back to four. White III was fouled again and made both free throws to bring the score to 80-78 with 24 seconds remaining.

Senior forward Travis Releford committed a quick foul with no time coming off of the clock and Smart could only make one of his two free throws for the Cowboys. Senior Elijah Johnsondrove to hoop for a quick bucket that cut the Oklahoma State lead to one with 19 seconds on the clock. Forte knocked down two more free throws with just seven seconds remaining and gave the Cowboys an 83-80 lead.

Leading by only three, Oklahoma State elected not to foul, but Johnson lost control of his dribble and Forte scored an easy layup as time expired to give the Cowboys the 85-80 victory. It was Oklahoma State’s first win in Lawrence since Jan. 13, 1990.

McLemore led the Kansas (19-2, 7-1) scorers with 23 points, his sixth 20-point game of the season. Senior forward Kevin Young (12) and senior center Jeff Withey (11) joined McLemore as the only three Jayhawks in double figures.

Oklahoma State (15-5, 5-3) was led by a debilitating performance from duo Markel Brown and Smart. Brown led all scorers with a season-high 28 points and became the first opponent to shoot 70 percent (7-for-10) from three-point range since the 2003 season. Smart, who ranks just two spots behind McLemore as the best-scoring freshmen in the league, tied his career-high with 25 points. Oklahoma State’s 43 percent mark (29-for-67) from the field topped KU’s 41 percent (25-for-61) for only the third time this season.

With 15:16 remaining in the second half, McLemore knocked down a three in front of the Kansas bench to give the Jayhawks their first lead since 9-7 early in the first half. McLemore scored Kansas’ next four points as the teams traded the lead.

Kansas was able to push out to a 59-55 lead prior to the third media timeout of the second half, but the Cowboys responded when Brown hit his seventh three of the game.

To start the second half, Brown knocked down his sixth three of the afternoon, but Releford answered with one of his own. Senior forward Kevin Youngstole the ensuing inbounds pass and McLemore put back a Johnson miss to cut the lead to four.

Early in the first half, the Jayhawks found themselves in a hole as they were held without a field goal for almost four minutes, allowing the Cowboys to use Kansas’ offensive woes to go on an 11-0 run and grab an 11-point lead with 11:53 to play before intermission.

Following the under 12-minute media timeout, Oklahoma State’s Brown converted a three-point play after knocking down and jumper and being fouled to give Kansas its biggest deficit of the season, 26-12.

McLemore responded with a tough lay-up in the lane and Young converted a lay-up after a feed from Releford. The Cowboy’s Brown then knocked down a three for his 17th-first half point. McLemore responded with a three of his own to cut the Oklahoma State advantage back to 10.

Late in the half, freshman forward Perry Ellis helped keep Kansas close with his offensive rebounding. After Ellis was fouled on a rebound attempt, the Wichita, Kan., native sunk the first half of the one-and-one freebies. Redshirt freshman forward Jamari Traylorgrabbed the rebound off of the second miss and found Johnson, who knocked down a contested three to bring Kansas within four. Oklahoma State responded with a lay-up and a foul, but Michael Cobbins was unable to convert the free throw. The Jayhawks could make nothing of their opportunity to score before the end of the half and the Cowboys took a 40-34 lead into halftime.

Brown had 22 of Oklahoma State’s 40 halftime point and Marcus Smart contributed 10. Only three other cowboys scored in the half with Cobbins having the third most points Oklahoma State with four. But the lopsided scoring effort from the tandem proved to be enough to hand Kansas its first loss at home in more than two years.

Kansas hits the road for its first contest with TCU since the team joined the Big 12 conference this season Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.