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Okla. St. at Kansas coverage

Kansas defeats Oklahoma State, 80-78

  • 3 p.m., Jan. 18, 2014
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

FINAL: Kansas 80, Oklahoma State 78

By Matt Tait — mtait@ljworld.com

It began as a classic match-up between the No. 9 and No. 15 teams in the nation and the two preseason favorites to challenge for the Big 12 championship.

And it played out more like an MMA match, with technical fouls, pushing and shoving and plenty of extra-curricular activity.

When it was all said and done, though, the strength of KU's incredible first half carried the Jayhawks to a 80-78 victory over Oklahoma State at Allen Fieldhouse.

After trading baskets and feeling each other out for much of the first 10 minutes, KU (13-4 overall, 4-0 Big 12) ripped off a 13-0 run midway through the first half that got the crowd into it like at no other time this season and put the Cowboys (15-3, 3-2) on their heels.

Oklahoma State responded with a fast start to the second half and KU's 47-30 halftime lead was trimmed to 59-56 midway through the second half. KU coach Bill Self used several early timeouts in the second half to calm his team down and it appeared to work when Naadir Tharpe and Frank Mason calmed the home team down with back-to-back three-pointers that pushed KU's lead back to seven (65-58) with nine minutes to play.

OSU closed hard and cut it to one with 5.4 seconds to play but could not get over the hump.

Tharpe turned in another solid scoring day at the office to lead Kansas with 21 points.

Joel Embiid flirted with triple-double territory by putting up 13 points, 11 rebounds and 8 blocks.

KU's win, coupled with losses by OSU and Iowa State (86-76 at Texas) put KU in the driver's seat in the Big 12 Conference race. In fact, their position right now is so comfortable there might not be anyone even sitting shotgun.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

The game turned when: Kansas responded to the Cowboys closing KU's 17-point halftime lead to just three points, 59-56, midway through the second half with a 14-4 run, which pushed the lead back to double figures and allowed the Jayhawks to cruise home a little more comfortably.

Offensive highlight: With the Jayhawks enjoying an 11-0 run, Naadir Tharpe came up with a steal in front of the KU bench and pushed the ball right back at the OSU basket, with the crowd in a frenzy. As Tharpe drove it all the way under the OSU hoop, he turned around and quickly saw Tarik Black charging down the paint. Tharpe flipped it to Black, who flushed it with two hands and sent the Allen Fieldhouse fans into an uproar. Seconds later the two benches had to be separated by coaches and officials and the bad blood began to boil over. Of course, there also was the Joel Embiid alley-oop dunk all over Marcus Smart that will probably be talked about around here for years.

Defensive highlight: With 6:11 remaining in the first half, Marcus Smart drove into the heart of KU's defense and dished a perfect pass to Kamari Murphy on the doorstep of two points. Murphy waited for a soaring Wayne Selden to clear and then went up strong to slam the ball through the rim. One problem. Joel Embiid was standing there waiting for him. Embiid got it with one hand and no contact and the Jayhawks went out in transition yet again.

Key stat: 3-for-14 shooting for OSU guard Marcus Smart, who finished with 16 points thanks largely to 10 trips to the free throw line, where he hit all 10.

Up next: The Jayhawks will dive back in with another big-game atmosphere at 8 p.m. Monday, when the Baylor Bears come to town for Big Monday.

Box score

Join the post game discussion

Live coverage (Ended January 18, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.)

Eric TheCapn in reply to Steve Hillyer

Tharpe has had great games before. He's played pretty dumb most of the season, but has it together for the conference season.

Steve Hillyer

Both Wiggins and Ellis no shows today, thankful for Embiid and I never thought I would say this but Tharpe too.

Wineau_hawk

the unctuous cowboys, higher ranked than the Hawks, come in and get beat despite their oily tactics, the gritty Jayhawks will be there in March, Gotlieb

Tdscpa in reply to Bryce Landon

I'd loan you mine, but it is overheating.

Allin Herring

We can't depend on his game as he far from the #1 pick!! KJust a good player

Ashwin Rao in reply to Bryce Landon

Order one for the next game!

Bryce Landon

Somebody get me a pacemaker.

Ashwin Rao in reply to Pam Goad

He is a young kid... he will have his ups & downs... I am glad that we are not dependent on his playing well!

Eric TheCapn

EmBeast is gonna win the Naismith. Clearly he is our best player, and the nation's.

Chuck Wagstaff

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/conferences/standings/_/id/8/year/2014/big-12-conference

Allin Herring

Did Wiggins play today... Oh no it was a big game and he never show up for those... Mr Potential!!!

Crimsonphoenix

Good game, Oklahoma State. I'll be honest, Marcus Smart is one of the best soccer players I've ever seen.

Tdscpa in reply to Brian Powell

Lucky he didn't get called for a foul with these zebras in AFH.

Pam Goad

Wiggins had all the bulletin board info he should have needed to come out and play well. Instead, he seemed to give a less than good effort.

Wineau_hawk

What a finish, a win is a win.

Kent Richardson in reply to Brian Powell

Gives them confidence?

Tyson Ailshie in reply to Bwag

MIA. Can hear his draft position falling

Allin Herring

Very Lucky

Tyson Ailshie in reply to Chuck Wagstaff

Great perspective!

Bwag

Wiggins, where were you?

Kent Richardson in reply to Brian Powell

Yes.

Eric TheCapn in reply to Chuck Wagstaff

+1

Brian Powell

Good win, but man.... HAVE to learn how to value the ball.. And a lead.

Chuck Wagstaff

4 out of 4 to start the conference. I'll take that.

Kent Richardson

We give up 48 in the half?

Rodney Crain

Worst win of the year

Bwag

Marcus Smart not POY, but does get best actor.

Tyson Ailshie

aye yaye yaye. 2nd half DID NOT need to be that complicated.

Eric TheCapn

GREAT steal, Mason.

Ckkufan

Rock Chalk, .......holy **

Bwag

Game.

Brian Powell

Great D by Mason the last minute!

FINAL
Okla. St. 78
Kansas 80

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Kent Richardson

What did Nash say?

Rodney Crain

I would not be happy about this game at all

1991jayhawk

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES! WHEW!

Chuck Wagstaff

Stomach backflip

Eric TheCapn

YES! Way to survive and beat Marcus Stupid & the Flopboys!

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Nash had to double-clutch there. Didn't get the shot off.

Tyson Ailshie

whew. that was a little TOO close

Rodney Crain

Lucky

00:05 left in Second Half
Okla. St. 78
Kansas 80

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Frank Mason makes 1/2 at foul line.

Rodney Crain

This goes to ot we lose

Wineau_hawk

mason not jarred, he cans the FT

Tyson Ailshie in reply to Rodney Crain

no argument here

Kusportsnut

USE. THE. FOULS.

Rodney Crain

Very sad half

Brian Powell

just our luck. Are you kiddin me??

Bwag

How do they not have him?

1991jayhawk

Free throw time...

Bryce Landon

MAKE THESE FREE THROWS

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Two shots.

00:05 left in Second Half
Okla. St. 78
Kansas 79

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Forte 3 from the corner makes it a one-point game.

Eric TheCapn

Sh*t

Rodney Crain

They deserve that

Marc Frey

I had 78-75

Brian Powell in reply to Tyson Ailshie

always take the W ;)

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Tharpe just came over and urged the KU student section at the south end to get loud by waving his arms. Naturally, they obliged.

Kusportsnut

We have two fouls to give. We need to use them.

Ckkufan in reply to 1991jayhawk

this is better than a cardio workout at the gym

Tyson Ailshie

Not sure if I should be happy about the win or pissed about the squandered lead.

Eric TheCapn

Mason didn't step out. The ball may have touched the line though.

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Lotta time wound down there and OSU got nothing. Best case scenario for KU, even though OSU still has possession.

00:07 left in Second Half
Okla. St. 75
Kansas 79

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Eric TheCapn

GREAT D!

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff in reply to Eric TheCapn

KU fans better hope so.

1991jayhawk

This game is gonna give me a heart attack...

Rodney Crain

Way to tense with a 17 point lead

Eric TheCapn in reply to Benton Smith

Dear lord! Will he survive?!

Tyson Ailshie

C'mon Mason, let's go!!

00:23 left in Second Half
Okla. St. 75
Kansas 79

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Eric TheCapn

Aaaaaand Smart flops again. Technical!

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

New Naadir has ice in his veins.

Eric TheCapn

oh no, just a 2! But.....

$

Tyson Ailshie

Okay, that's big time Naadir

Joe Ross

Much talk today about Wiggins stepping up to big games. Where has he been? How many points scored?

Eric TheCapn

Calm, collected basketball here, boys.

Dave Cook

Carrington Harrison @cdotharrison Marcus Smart's flopping makes him more endearing to me. He repeatedly shows you how bad the officiating is.

Tyson Ailshie

run out the clock and have Tharpe draw a foul

Joe Ross

We've squandered a huge lead. Something that needs to be addressed. However, if you would have told me we could have a 4 point lead with 66 seconds left and the ball I would have taken it.

1991jayhawk

This is ridiculous...over the back AND that OSU guy's hand knocked it out!

01:06 left in Second Half
Okla. St. 73
Kansas 77

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Eric TheCapn in reply to Eric TheCapn

much, much better

Cshjhawk

Foul!

Kent Richardson

What a complete load of crap.

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Smart has struggled from the floor all game, but hits that difficult fadeaway jumper. That's the sign of a great player. Like him or despise him.

Jessejayhawk

where was the over the back call

Brian Powell in reply to Eric TheCapn

True fact.

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

That's just the 2nd field goal of the day for Smart.

Joe Ross

Cant give up the three point shot here

Brian Powell

over the back, our ball out of bounds to makeup. Tis only fair :P

Ckkufan

Officials need to retire, they really are not good.

Eric TheCapn

This game has actually been officiated MUCH better than the last.

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Call reversed. Refs say OSU ball after looking at the monitor. AFH crowd not happy.

Tyson Ailshie

it's concerning that in the 11th hour we are not executing. Can't leave it up to officials

Aircapjay

What about the over the back foul?

Bryce Landon

Looking at the replay, it should be OSU ball

Rodney Crain

Unreal we are not getting any breaks crap

Benton Smith KUsports.com staff

Refs checking video in final 2 minutes to make sure about who touched the ball last.

Dave Cook

This ref crew is horrible! I hope your dog dies!!!!!!

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