🏀 Kansas Continues Big 12 Opener Streak, Defeats Oklahoma State, 74-63
Stillwater, OKLA. – The No. 6/6 Kansas Jayhawks continued their impressive Big 12 opener winning streak, winning their 31st straight dating back to the 1991-92 season, defeating Oklahoma State 74-63 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Tuesday evening.
Kansas (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) wins its eighth straight game, while extending its series lead against Oklahoma State, 120-60 all-time. Oklahoma State (7-5, 0-1 Big 12) falls in its first game since last playing on December 18 against Houston.
Despite a troubling first half, the Jayhawks battled back behind a team-high 17 points from senior forward David McCormack, who came off the bench for the first time this season. McCormack set a career-high with 15 rebounds, marking his second double-double this season and the ninth of his career.
Along with McCormack, senior guard Ochai Agbaji (17 points) and junior guard Christian Braun (16 points) scored in double-figures. Agbaji has scored in double-figures in all 13 games this season and has now scored in double-digits in 59 games in his career. Kansas’ 50 rebounds are the most in a road conference game since the Jayhawks had 53 on January 13, 2014 at Iowa State.
Kansas had a big day on the boards, setting a season-high 50 rebounds, led by a combined 30 rebounds from McCormack and redshirt sophomore forward Jalen Wilson, who each pulled down 15 rebounds a piece.
Agbaji had a game-high 11 points by the end of the first half, which helped Kansas lead by as many as 14 at the 9:12 mark of the first half.
Over the final 7:26 before the break, Oklahoma State brought the deficit to zero, going on a 14-0 run to knot the score at 29-29 at halftime. The Jayhawks missed 20-straight field goals to end the first half, while it was Kansas’ first time not leading at halftime this season. The Jayhawks shot 28 percent (11-of-41) from the field in the first half, the lowest in a half this season.
Out of the break, the Jayhawks and Cowboys traded punches, until Kansas benefitted off back-to-back 3-pointers from Agbaji and Braun to bring the score to 46-42 with 13:11 to go.
Kansas’ consecutive 3-pointers would lead the Jayhawks into a 7-0 run, giving KU a 53-43 advantage at the 11:21 mark of the second half.
With under six minutes to play and leading at 65-57, the Jayhawks rattled off a 9-0 run on the back of five points from Remy Martin and four points from Braun to give KU a 72-57 lead with 3:35 remaining.
The Jayhawks would go on to hold off the Cowboys, 74-63, as Kansas shot 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field and 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from beyond the arc. Kansas held Oklahoma State to shoot 35.7 percent (25-of-70) from the field.
The Jayhawks continue their Big 12 road trip when they travel to Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, January 8. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2.