No. 8/9 Kansas Bottoms Out at Oklahoma State, 67-62

Box Score

STILLWATER, Okla. — Led by seven threes from its sophomore guards, No. 8/9 Kansas controlled the game in the first half. Unfortunately for the first-place Jayhawks, a second half was also required. Oklahoma State defended its home court and overpowered Kansas in the final frame for a 67-62 win Saturday afternoon inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
In their first meeting, neither Kansas (19-4, 8-2) nor Oklahoma State (16-7, 6-5) enjoyed much shooting success with both firing below 40 percent. The Cowboys came out on the losing end of a 67-57 game. KU had a strong advantage on the boards and both teams did a good chunk of its scoring from the free-throw line. The Jayhawks endured a combined 39 points from two of the top-three scorers in the Big 12 in OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash and Phil Forte III. Saturday played out differently.
After a 2-for-7 shooting start, Kansas went to halftime with a 41-30 lead on 56.5 (13-for-23) shooting. Sophomore guards Brannen Greene, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden, Jr., were a devastating 7-for-7 combined from three-point range, while holding Oklahoma State to zero first-half threes (0-for-9). Forte and Nash shot a combined 3-of-9 in the first frame for eight and six points, respectively.
Then came the second half.
Greene and Mason, who led the Jayhawks with 19 combined points at the break, scored just one more point for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Nash and Forte caught fire for 17 second-half points. Kansas’ sharpshooting in the opening frame dropped 30 percentage points in the second, while KU’s 20-9 rebound advantage in the first half evened out to 35 rebounds apiece by the end of the game.
Roles reversed in the second half. OSU outscored the Jayhawks 37-21 in the final 20 minutes to eradicate its 41-30 halftime deficit. The loss marked KU’s first of the season when leading at the half (15-1). Entering the weekend, Oklahoma State ranked among the top-35 in the country in field-goal percentage and scoring defense. Kansas blew right past that in the first half, but the law of averages caught up to the Jayhawks in the second half – making just eight of their 30 attempts (26.7 percent) in the last 20 minutes.
The afternoon was not without its bright spots. Selden tallied a team-high 15 points on 4-for-5 three-point shooting. Mason’s 10 points made him just the fourth Jayhawk in the Bill Self era to post a 20-game streak of 10+ points. Junior forward Perry Ellis was the only player in the game to record a double-double, contributing 10 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth of the season. Greene kept his three-point accuracy in Big 12 play intact, going 3-for-5, for a league-best 62.1 percent in conference action.
But the Cowboys’ highlights won out. Nash and Forte finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively, and were joined by 15 points from junior guard Anthony Hickey, 10 of which came in the second half. As a team, they grabbed just nine rebounds in the first half, but outrebounded KU, 26-15, in the second half. 
Not many shots fell for either team in the opening minutes. Nevertheless, Greene checked in and continued his tear of timely threes. With only a sliver of space before the defense found him, he pulled up and nailed his first trey of the game, putting Kansas in front, 16-11. Moments later, he struck again – marking the first double-digit lead for Kansas, 23-13.
While Greene made up for KU’s slow shooting start, the Jayhawks were chalking up the intangibles. Freshman guard Devonte’ Graham missed a pair of threes, but drew a big-time charge against Nash that likely would’ve pulled OSU within a point. Sophomore forward Landen Lucas stole a possession from the Cowboys when he dove out of bounds in time to knock the ball off of an outstretched OSU hand.
Just like that, the hustle sparked the scoreboard. Mason drained his second three and Selden nailed one, as well, igniting a 10-1 run. What started as a 2-for-7 shooting efficiency quickly evolved when KU made four of its next five from the field, putting the visitors up, 30-16.
On comes Oklahoma State. Making the most of its trips to the line, the Cowboys sank six-straight free throws. A Mitchell Soloman dunk capped an 8-0 scoring spree, forcing Kansas to take its first timeout of the game with less than five minutes till halftime. The Cowboys whittled their deficit down to six twice in the final minutes of the first half, but KU found a way to push it back to double-digits. After a Cliff Alexander tip-in, Greene followed it with his third three of the half to send Kansas to the lockerroom with a 41-30 advantage.
Oklahoma State had seen enough. The Cowboys barreled out of the lockerroom to start the second half. Though OSU was 0-for-9 from three-point range in the first half, Hickey and Forte connected on their first two attempts to start the second – capping a 14-0 Oklahoma State run.
What had been a fairly comfortable Kansas lead throughout the first half was completely gone. Forte’s three gave the Cowboys their first lead since the 16:16 mark of the first half (6-5) at 44-42.
Finally Kansas reacted. Ellis snapped the drought with a layup and Selden followed suit with a three-pointer. The lead returned to the Jayhawks, but this time much more slight. Hickey clamped down on another three, baiting KU’s shooters to trade baskets. Kansas didn’t take the bait.
A layup from junior Jamari Traylor with 15 minutes to play were KU’s only points for more than five minutes. Selden’s third three-pointer of the day snapped the lull, bringing Kansas back within a point until senior Michael Cobbins, Solomon and Nash attacked the basket for six-straight points and OSU’s largest lead of the game, 59-52.
Ellis kept chipping, tallying four-straight points, and Selden came to his aid with another huge three to cut the deficit to two, 61-59. With less than five minutes on the clock, the two buckled down for a thrilling end.
Oklahoma State started the day ranked 12th in the NCAA in steals per game. While the Cowboys’ six steals in the opening frame didn’t do much damage, their six in the second half certainly did. With two-and-a-half to play, junior guard Jeff Newberry came up with a crucial steal and dished it to Hickey for the breakaway layup, putting his team up for good as OSU closed it out, 67-62.
Kansas continues its road swing on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Texas Tech at 8 p.m., on ESPN2. The Jayhawks will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to host Baylor at 12 p.m., on CBS, and will then play at West Virginia on Feb. 16, in their third of four ESPN Big Monday appearances of the 2014-15 season.

KU STARTERS (Season/Career Starts):
So. G Frank Mason, III (23/26), So. G Wayne Selden, Jr. (23/58), Fr. G Kelly Oubre, Jr. (15/15), Jr. F Perry Ellis (23/60), Jr. F Jamari Traylor (14/15)

SERIES INFO: Kansas leads, 110-56

ATTENDANCE: 10,399 (13,611 capacity)

  • Made Kansas 19-4 overall, ending a five-game winning streak, and 8-2 in Big 12 play for the first time since the 2011-12 season (Note: Kansas was 7-3 in 2012-13).
  • Changed KU’s all-time series advantage against Oklahoma State to 110-56 in favor of Kansas, including a 21-9 mark in Big 12 games.
  • Marked the second-straight win for OSU against KU inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, tying the series at 33-33 inside the facility and 35-33 in games played in Stillwater.
  • Bumped Self to 344-73 while at Kansas, 14-10 against his alma mater (13-7 at Kansas) and 551-178 overall.
  • Made KU 2,145-826 all-time.


  • For the first time this season, Kansas lost when leading at halftime and is now 15-1 in such games.
  • KU was behind with five minutes to play for just the fifth time this season and is 1-4 in those contests.
  • The Jayhawks chalked up a season-best 78 percent (7-for-9) three-point mark for a half in the opening 20 minutes. KU tallied seven threes in a half for the fourth time this season (7-14, 1st half vs. Rhode Island; 7-12, 2nd half vs. Texas Tech; 9-13, 1st half vs. Oklahoma).
  • Kansas held the Cowboys to an 0-for-9 three-point mark in the first half, the third time this season that Oklahoma State came up empty from beyond the arc in a half – the first of which was also against Kansas (0-for-7, first half).
  • In the first half, KU held a convincing advantage on the glass (20-9). The nine rebounds by Oklahoma State were the fewest allowed in a half in conference play since TCU grabbed eight in the second half (2/13/13). The Jayhawks also held Florida to just nine rebounds in the second half earlier this season (12/5/14).
  • Conversely, Kansas was outrebounded in the second half 26-15 to finish the game tied with OSU with 35 rebounds apiece.
  • KU’s 8-for-30 (26.7 percent) marked the 11th time this season that the Jayhawks have tallied eight or fewer field goals in a half. In four halves against OSU this season, KU turned in just eight field goals in three of them.
  • Kansas’ two blocks tied a season-low, while the team’s 18 turnovers marked a season-high.
  • In the last six games, KU’s bench has outscored the opponent’s reinforcements 149-40 (31-7 against Oklahoma, 31-8 against Texas, 35-4 at TCU, 14-9 against K-State, 20-8 versus Iowa State, 18-4 at Oklahoma State).


  • Freshman G Devonte’ Graham drew his fourth charge of the season when he planted his feet in front of a charging Le’Bryan Nash in the first half. That ties him with fellow point guard Frank Mason III for the team lead.
  • Graham entered the weekend with a sizable lead in conference-only play for assist-to-turnover ratio (9.3). In Big 12-only action, the next closest point guard is Iowa State’s Monte’ Morris (3.7). Graham has an impressive 29 assists to just five turnovers in nine games since returning from an injury against Georgetown on Dec. 10, 2014.
  • Sophomore G Brannen Greene continued his tirade from behind the arc. He started the day as the best three-point shooter in conference play at 62.5 percent and added a 3-for-5 mark from three-point range on Saturday to make him a red-hot 62.1 percent (18-of-29) in Big 12 games.
  • Aside from a trip to TCU where he did not attempt a three, Greene has made multiple triples in five of the last six games – including Oklahoma State (3-of-5). The marksman is 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) during this span. 
  • For the season, Greene is shooting 51.6 percent (32-of-62) from three-point range, which puts him in contention of becoming the best three-point percentage shooter for a season in KU history as a minimum of 60 attempts are requited in the Kansas record books. First place currently belongs to Kirk Hinrich and his 50.5 percent (55-of-109) during the 2000-2001 season.
  • Sophomore G Frank Mason III’s 10 points extended his double-digit scoring streak to 20-straight games. He is now one of only four Jayhawks to record 20-straight games of 10+ points the Bill Self era. Mason joins Wayne Simien (26, 2004-05), Thomas Robinson (27, 2011-12) and Marcus Morris (27, 2010-11).
  • Mason almost appeared to erase a little of the drama in extending his scoring streak. In the previous two games, Mason headed to halftime with zero points and had to keep his streak alive with second-half scoring. Against OSU, Mason tallied nine points in the first half, but didn’t collect his final point until 56 seconds remained in the game.
  • Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., leads the team with 12 games with multiple three-pointers this year, with Saturday being his 12th (4-of-5).
  • Junior F Perry Ellis tallied his sixth double-double of the year and 12th of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Junior F Jamari Traylor committed a KU season-high six turnovers, the most since Joel Embiid committed seven against Iowa State (1/13/14). He also tied his career-high with three steals. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.