Balanced Efforts of No. 2 Kansas Overwhelm Oklahoma State, 94-67
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 2 Kansas extended the longest home-court winning streak in the nation to 38 games with a 94-67 victory over Oklahoma State on Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
Six Jayhawks reached double-figure points and five Jayhawks reached five-plus rebounds on the way to outrebounding OSU, 45-27. KU’s balanced effort drew the praise of Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford after the game: “When I look at the makeup of their team – I said this from the beginning – I don’t know if there is much missing.”
Junior forward Landen Lucas notched his third career double-double with a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., led the Jayhawks with 18 points, including four 3-point field goals.
Kansas (22-4, 10-3 Big 12), fresh off a road victory over No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday, rallied from an early nine-point deficit with a 16-2 run and went into halftime with a 47-34 lead. The Jayhawks kept the pressure on in the second half and ended the night with a 50 percent shooting clip, including 52 percent from 3-point range.
Oklahoma State (12-14, 3-10) was led by 19 points from Jeff Newberry, while Tyree Griffin dished out 12 assists. The Cowboys, playing without their starting point guard and leading scorer Jawun Griffin, just committed eight turnovers despite the 27-point loss.
The Jayhawks avenged an 86-67 loss to the Cowboys on Jan. 19 in Stillwater to avoid what would have been the first home-and-home Big 12 regular-season series sweep during the Bill Self era.
Kansas fell behind, 8-0, behind a pair of Oklahoma State 3-pointers before the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week Devonte’ Graham picked up where he left off. The sophomore guard put Kansas on the board with a trey in the corner – accounting for three of his 10 points during the game.
Freshman big man Cheick Diallo kept OSU’s defense in check with three blocks, including two during one possession, in just three first-half minutes.
Oklahoma State continued to slow the game down and increased its largest lead of the game to nine points, 23-14, at the 9:47 mark of the first half. But Kansas responded as junior sharp-shooter Brannen Greene book-ended a 33-11 Kansas run with a pair of 3-pointers — one to start the run and the other a last-second shot before halftime.
KU’s flurry to finish the first half featured a powerful dunk from Selden from the baseline over two defenders, a seamless 3-pointer from Mason in transition, and a 4-for-4 effort from the free throw by Carlton Bragg Jr. Selden made a 3-pointer at the 4:50 mark of the first half to give KU the go-ahead lead.
KU’s lead increased to 18 points early in the second half before Oklahoma State trimmed its deficit to 61-54 at the under-12 media timeout. The Jayhawks continued to maintain composure on their home court, answering with an efficient 10-0 run to regain control on the way to a sixth-straight win.
Part two of the Dillions Sunflower Showdown will be on Saturday evening when Kansas travels to Manhattan to face Kansas State. ESPN2 will nationally televise the 5 p.m. tipoff between the in-state rivals.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Jr. G Frank Mason III (26/65)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (25/25)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (26/97)
Sr. F Perry Ellis (27/97)
Jr. F Landen Lucas (8/22)
· KU now holds a 111-57 all-time advantage against OSU
· KU has won nine of the last 13 meetings
· KU is now 61-11 against OSU in games played in Lawrence, including a 46-9 record inside Allen Fieldhouse
· Kansas has won 19 of the last 20 meetings in Allen Fieldhouse starting in 1990
· Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 22-10 versus OSU: 17-8 in regular-season play and 5-2 in the Big 12 Championship
· KU head coach Bill Self is 15-11 all-time against his alma mater, including a 14-8 record at Kansas, while Travis Ford is 5-10 versus KU
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (241st-consecutive sellout)
· Made Kansas 22-4 overall, 10-3 in Big 12 play
· Extended KU’s winning streak to six games
· Extended the nation’s longest active home court winning streak to 40 games, including 38 inside Allen Fieldhouse
· Gave Kansas 10 conference wins for the 22nd-straight season
· Kept Bill Self without a regular-season conference sweep by a Big 12 opponent during his time at Kansas. KU has never been swept in a two-game Big 12 regular-season series under Self (since 2004). In 80 regular-season Big 12 home-and-home series during the Self era, Kansas has 54 sweeps and 26 splits.
· Improved the Jayhawks’ all-time record on ESPN’s Big Monday to 33-1 inside Allen Fieldhouse and 56-20 overall, including a 37-12 clip under Bill Self
· Gave Kansas 10 league wins for an amazing 22-consecutive seasons dating back to 1995
· Made Kansas 14-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, 204-9 under Bill Self and 742- 109 all-time in the facility
· Made Self 15-11 all-time versus Oklahoma State (14-8 while at Kansas)
· Made KU 2,175-835 all-time
· After falling behind by nine points with 9:47 remaining in the first half, Kansas outscored Oklahoma State 33-11 in the first of the opening frame and held the Cowboys to two field goals in that span.
· After the 10-minute mark of both the first and second halves, Kansas shot a combined 67.7 percent (21-of-31) from the field, compared to a 34.4 percent (11-of-32) clip in the first 10 minutes of each half.
· Oklahoma State cut the KU lead to six points with 11:13 remaining in the second half, but the Jayhawks responded with a 21-4 run over the next 6:06.
· The Jayhawks saw six players score in double-figures for the third time this season, last accomplished against Holy Cross on Dec. 9, 2015.
· Kansas’ 11 three pointers matched its most in a conference game this season, marking the fourth time in Big 12 play KU has drained 11 treys.
· KU’s three starting guards (Mason III, Graham and Selden Jr.) combined for zero turnovers, marking the first time this season those three have not committed a turnover in a game.
· KU broke the 90-point barrier for the ninth time this year and first time in a regulation game since the Jayhawks hung 102 points on Baylor on Jan. 2.
· The Jayhawks’ seven turnovers matched their fewest in a conference game this season (7 vs. Baylor on Jan. 2).
· Sophomore G Devonte Graham was 4-of-7 from the field and shot 50 percent or better for the third-straight game. In his last three games, Graham is shooting 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the field and 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from three-point range.
· Graham was kept without an assist for the first time this season, but committed zero turnovers for the seventh time in 2015-16.
· Junior F Landen Lucas posted his third career double-double, second of the season, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He is averaging 12 boards per game in his last three outings.
· Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.’s 18 points marked the ninth time this season he has led his team in scoring. Selden also reached double-figure scoring for first time since posting a career-high 33 points against Kentucky on Jan. 30.
· Selden connected on 4-of-7 three pointers, marking the seventh game this season and third league game the junior has tallied four or more treys in a game.
· Selden’s four threes gave him 148 for his career, moving him past Elijah Johnson for 13th on the Jayhawks’ all-time three-point field goal list.
· Senior F Perry Ellis’ 15 points helped him pass Tyshawn Taylor for 14th on KU’s all-time scoring list, now with 1,588 points in his Jayhawk career.
· Junior G Frank Mason III tallied six assists and no turnovers in 33 minutes of action, marking his third game without a turnover this season.
· Junior G Brannen Greene was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the three-point arc. Greene has now been perfect from three-point range in three games this year (min. 3 attempts). He was 5-of-5 in KU’s season-opener vs. Northern Colorado (11/13) and 3-of-3 against Kansas State (2/3).
· Senior F Hunter Mickelson checked in with 19 seconds remaining in the first half, his first action since he saw two minutes in the Jayhawks’ 75-65 win at TCU on Feb. 6.
· OSU is shooting 32.3 (144-of-446) percent from three-point range in games not against Kansas this season. After shooting 55.5 percent (15-for-27) in their first three halves against the Jayhawks this season, the Cowboys came back down to earth in the second half Monday, with a 3-of-14 clip (21 percent) from beyond the arc.
· Oklahoma State sophomore G Tyree Griffin recorded 12 assists, the most by a Jayhawk opponent in a conference game since Missouri’s Phil Pressey also dropped 12 dimes on Feb. 25, 2012.
On how the team started the game:
“Give (Oklahoma State) credit; they made shots. We really didn’t guard, basically the whole game like I thought we could. I thought we got into a little bit of a groove, defensively, in the first half after we got down nine, and then we actually closed the half pretty well. We started the second half scoring easy, then we quit guarding and finished the game pretty strong. Oklahoma State is so beat up and then with Griffin getting nicked up, I thought they hung in there pretty well.”
On Landon Lucas’s continued stretch of playing well:
“I thought he did well again. The dude gets double-figure rebounds just about every game. He scored inside some today, made his free throws – I thought he played good. We’re not going to look great when Perry (Ellis) doesn’t produce and of course, he had a bad first half. The second half he was a lot better, so for us to be up 13 and Perry to have two or four points, whatever it was, I think that’s pretty good for us.”
On Brannen Greene’s play and three-point shot he hit before halftime:
“I think Brannen played pretty well, too. Defensively he made a couple of blunders but for the most part I thought he played well. When we’re behind, don’t have much going and he steps up and makes a couple of shots, it certainly gives us momentum. So yeah, I thought he did a nice job.”
On the difference between tonight and the first time Kansas played Oklahoma State:
“A big difference is that Jewan Evans didn’t play, he’s good and totally controlled that game. I don’t think that we were great tonight but we were certainly a heck of a lot better than we were in Stillwater. We shot a good percentage and they had seven different guys make threes against us the first time, and in this game they had four. They probably didn’t play quite as well and we certainly played quite a bit better.”
On Saturday’s matchup against Kansas State:
“It’s a tough environment there but we have to go in there with the mindset to be tougher. We got two offensive rebounds in that game and they beat us on the glass. We played pretty soft and we have to play a lot tougher, but we put ourselves in a pretty good position. We’re going to go play a good team that’s obviously capable of beating anybody on their floor – they’ve already done it.”
Kansas junior F Landen Lucas
On how big Brannen Greene’s three at the halftime buzzer was:
“It was awesome. It brings a lot of momentum to the team when we have the lead going into halftime. When he got the shot and knocked it down, it definitely helped lift the team going into halftime.”
On how good he feels on the court lately:
“I feel good. I’m getting more comfortable with each game but there are still things that I feel I can do a better job of. Even on a night like tonight, I can watch game film and find areas where I can improve, but it has been nice. I’m feeling more comfortable on both ends and I feel like I will continue to progress.”
On how he has been able to improve his game since he has been starting:
“It’s really been a confidence thing for me. I’m doing what I know I can do each game. It’s showing more on the offensive side for me because the defensive side is more natural for me. I’m just becoming more comfortable out there.”
On if he has always been a natural rebounder:
“Yeah. My dad was always a big-time rebounder. He always told me that if I wanted to play at the next level, whether that be middle school to high school or high school to college, I need to rebound the ball. That is something that every team needs so that is something that I have been focusing on because this team needed a rebounder. I’m happy I can be that guy for this team.”
On if he is good as reading shots:
“It is something that I enjoy doing. Really, if you just go after the ball, that is more than what most other players are doing. If the ball is shot on one side of the basket, than it is probably going to come off the other side. It is really basic but most people don’t fight to get to the opposite side very often so it’s just the small things like that, that allow me to get the rebound.”
On what coach Self said in the first timeout when KU was down by 10 early on:
“He said to pick it up. We came out flat and we weren’t focused so we knew we had to bounce back. We went on a nice run to end the half which was helpful and we got the win. We have to cut out the slow early starts because that can’t happen when we play good teams.”
Kansas junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
On making a comeback in the first half:
“We came out sluggish. Some games you’re not going to come out how you are supposed to but it’s all about changing and we were able to change it, so that was a big thing for us.”
On the importance on Landen Lucas:
“He’s been great for us. Not just today but the past however many games he’s been starting, he’s been great for us. That inside presence is doing numbers for us.”
On having the best offensive game since Kentucky:
“It just felt good to see the ball go in the rim. Even when it doesn’t go in the hoop, I’m just going to shoot the ball like I always have been waiting it for go in. I’m just trying to stay consistent, my teammates tell me to shoot so I’m just going to do that.”
On if the team was able to get in the open court like they wanted to:
“For the most part, yeah but I feel like we can still push the tempo a little more. I feel like we can be a faster team but it’s all about getting that initial rebound and pushing the ball those first few dribbles to really set the tone.”
Kansas junior F Brannen Greene
On a tough upcoming road game stretch:
“It’s definitely a big challenge. We faced a big challenge last week having West Virginia come play here then Oklahoma so I think our focus was right that week. It definitely will be the same moving forward. We know what the task is, we’re a veteran group so I think we will be locked in and ready.”
On facing the zone:
“We obviously let them score too many points, they were making shots and we started off missing shots. Maybe they thought we were going to continue to miss shots then we started to knock them down. They went underneath a couple of ball screens that I was a little shocked at, but we ended up capitalizing and stretching out the lead.”
Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford
“You just can’t come in here and give up 94 points. Our defense usually doesn’t do that, so give Kansas credit. They made a lot of nice shots. They moved the ball well. We made a run in the second half to cut it to six, then we give up I think three offensive rebounds and four shots. That was kind of the difference. It went downhill from there. We just didn’t end the first half very well and didn’t end the second half very well, and that does not spell success for any team that comes in here. So give them (Kansas) credit, but we’re a bit of the ‘walking wounded’ at this point, but it is what it is. We had some guys that were absolute warriors. I’m so proud of some of these kids that really, really fought. Some of these guys were pretty banged up, but, because of our numbers, they gave it a go and really played hard. We just didn’t get enough help from enough guys, and they had a lot of guys in double figures so they, obviously, showed up and played. We had some fight to us at times, just not quite enough.”
On trying zone defense at the end of the first half:
“We were trying something different. We had some guys in some serious foul trouble. We were trying to mix things up and then it obviously didn’t turn out too good. I think they scored nine points in three possessions.”
On attention to detail potentially being the biggest issue:
“A little bit, on both ends. We had some things we thought were going to work, and they did work. We just had some guys that got completely lost in it and didn’t run it. When they did run it, it worked. We just didn’t have enough guys on the same page. It’s a quick turnaround for us, it’s a little quick. Give them credit; they made shots. Ninety-four points is a lot of points, and we normally don’t do that. That’s why Kansas is Kansas.”
On defending the fast break better in the previous game against Kansas:
“Yeah, I mean one of the reasons we had success – I think there are certain teams in this league that thrive in the open court, and this is one of those teams. So that’s a key for us, to try to keep them out of the open court. Especially at home, but on the road, too. We obviously did a much better job the first game than in the second game, giving them 14 points in transition. There were certainly three keys: we didn’t want to allow them to get transition baskets, we didn’t want to give up any second shots, and try to stop them from the three-point line. We weren’t successful in any of the three.”
On how you try to shut down a balanced offense:
“Well hopefully with our defense, and our defense is usually good enough, it really doesn’t matter. They’re making shots. They have All-Americans and great players on their team. When they’re rolling – they’re playing great basketball right now. I said it before our first game. I haven’t seen any team better. Oklahoma is really, really good in our league. Iowa State is really good in our league. Baylor has some really good teams. Kansas, when I look at the makeup of their team, I don’t know if there’s much missing. They have great guards, great big men, a great bench, they have experience. I don’t know what they really don’t have. I’m sure every team in America would like to be a little bit better at something, but I really like their team. Obviously they’re extremely well-coached. They’re playing really good basketball right now, when you want to play really good basketball. Our defense is normally pretty good, but when you have a team at home that’s playing at the highest level and making shots. We didn’t play our best, but you still have to make shots. They did it, they made us pay with every mistake. Every mistake that we made, and that’s a sign of a good basketball team, or a sign that tonight was a good night for you.”
On if Leyton Hammonds’ foul trouble affected his offensive performance:
“Looking back at it, I probably should have just thrown him back in there with two fouls. I probably should have just played him a little bit in the first half, but that’s usually not my roll. We were actually hanging in there for a while and sustaining it while he was out, but there’s no question we need him in the basketball game. We need him to play well, and he has been big for us, but it’s tough when you only play two minutes in the first half.”
Oklahoma State sophomore Tyree Griffin
On the team’s ball movement on offense:
“We were just playing off of each other, just running through the plays and trying to slow down and get things going early so that we can finish games.”
On Oklahoma State’s quick start:
“We came out strong, gave them the first punch because we know at home they are a very tough team. Going into the half we didn’t finish strong enough and they went on a run and we started playing catch up from there.”
On his ankle:
“When I hurt it, I knew we didn’t have anyone else to back me up. Coach didn’t tell me to go back in, I felt I just needed to tough it out and finish the game. That was the only thing on my mind – finishing the game, because I wanted to win.”
Oklahoma State senior Jeff Newberry
On cutting Kansas’ lead to six points:
“Somebody just has to step up and be a leader vocally out there and keep everybody together. In a loud environment like that you have to get it done in the huddles, you’re not going to be able to talk to each other during the game. We just need to pay attention to detail. They went on some runs and we left some guys open, didn’t close out on guys the way we should and went under some screens. That’s what happens. Then that one possession when they kept getting the rebound and Frank Mason (III) hit a shot, that was a big turning point in the game – we needed to solidify that rebound and we didn’t.”
On Mitch Solomon’s play and aggressiveness:
“Mitch played great tonight. I like that he came out and hit the three. He hit the first three of the game and he wasn’t hesitating at any point from then on. I’m not sure, he might have been limping some at one point, but Mitch fights through everything and so does this guy right here (referring to Tyree Griffin). I like Mitch’s play. He played tough tonight, didn’t pick up early fouls. I was proud of him, I hope he stays that way throughout the season.”
On foul trouble and the effect defensively:
“Only certain people picked up fouls early, I looked up and I had four. We just have to be smarter, there are certain situations you can’t slap and stuff. You don’t want to guard the way you usually would and send them to the line, so that came into a factor. But we still have to defend, that can’t stop us.”?
On the game plan:
“Part of the game plan was to stop them in transition. They are a great transition team and just control the game, don’t go at their pace, we play at our pace. I feel like we did a good job at that except in the last five minutes of the first half. We just didn’t get into personnel, getting back in transition, letting a team like that getting going you see what happens.”
On how Kansas was able to catch up:
“Not much to say, not paying attention to detail. This is the No. 2 team in the country and coming into their house, it’s a rowdy environment. You can get up but its a game of runs, they are going make theirs and we are going to make ours. Like I said, not paying attention to detail, they made a couple seals and got to the basket. We didn’t box out, I think they had 16 offensive rebounds. In the first half we came out but we have to sustain that energy to go into the half with the lead. We let them go on a run and Brannen Greene, the best shooter on the court, comes down and nobody picked him up, just stuff like that.”
On the lack of detail being the downfall of the game:
“That is some of it. At home we held them to a low amount of transition points, probably one of the lowest they have had all year. Everyone knows if you get a basket at home the crowd goes crazy, and that’s what they did. They made plays down the stretch, we went down and missed a couple of chippers and just didn’t match up in the fast break situation sometimes. You can’t do that against team like this.”
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