Simien leads Jayhawks out of slump

Senior's career-high 32 points lead KU to 81-79 victory over OSU

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Withstanding a great shooting day by Oklahoma State, Kansas University's men's basketball team defeated the Cowboys, 81-79, Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The victory gave KU (21-4 overall, 11-3 Big 12 Conference) a one-game lead over OSU (20-5, 10-4) in the race for the league title.

"I don't think I've ever been a part of a better basketball game," KU head coach Bill Self said. "The atmosphere was great. The stakes were high. It was well officiated.

"Just when you think that the other team has control, guys step up and make plays. It was awesome. This will go down as one of the great ones to ever play in this building."

The Cowboys shot 58 percent (31 of 53) from the field, including 9-of-19 shooting from three-point range, but slumped late in the game after shooting as well as 70 percent midway through the second half.

"That is, without question, the way they played today, by far the best team we played this year," Self said. "They made plays."

The Jayhawks overcame the Cowboys' shooting by shooting 66 percent (31 of 47) from the field themselves and getting career highs in points from Wayne Simien and Christian Moody, who returned the lineup for the first time since the Texas Tech game.

Simien scored a career-high 32 points and added 12 rebounds, and Moody tied his career high of 11 points.

"He shot it great," Self said of Simien. "We've struggled getting the ball to him ... and we knew that having Christian in the game would help. Our guys did a real good job looking for him.

"But let's call it like it is. Dub put us on his shoulders today for a while. I mean, everybody played great, but he was a man out there today."

The Jayhawks needed all those points as J.R. Giddens failed to score and OSU's John Lucas was nearly perfect from the field.

In fact, Lucas was hit all nine of his first shots, but missed his final two - a jumper in the lane that would have broken a 78-all tie and a three-pointer just before the buzzer that would have given the Cowboys the win.

Those two misses were indicative of the game for OSU, which struggled from the field late after a 12-2 run that gave the Cowboys a 76-69 run with a few minutes left in the game.

Kansas scored 12 of the final 15 points, though, as Oklahoma State cooled off from the field, including the two late misses by Lucas.

Keith Langford had 14 points and five assists for KU, and Aaron Miles added 13 points and six assists. Miles scored the final three points for KU after the game was tied at 78.

Michael Lee added seven points, Jeff Hawkins and Darnell Jackson each had two points, and Giddens chipped in with three assists.

Lucas finished with 22 points, Joey Graham added 19, and JamesOn Curry scored 15.

Ivan McFarlin had eight points, Daniel Bobik had five points and Stephen Graham scored 10 points.

The Jayhawks were 31-of-47 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from long distance, and 15-of-23 shooting from the foul line. Kansas had 10 turnovers.

The Cowboys were 31-of-53 shooting from the field, including 9-of-18 from three-point range, and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Oklahoma State had nine turnovers.

¢ Former KU great Dave Robisch had his jersey retired at halftime.

All stats are unofficial.