Kansas City, Mo. Without Keith Langford for the second straight game, Kansas University's men's basketball team couldn't quite pull out a victory Saturday, falling to Oklahoma State, 78-75, in the Big 12 Conference Tournament semifinals in Kemper Arena.
The Jayhawks, who Sunday afternoon will find out their NCAA Tournament seed, region and first opponent, had a chance to tie the game just before time expired, but Alex Galindo's three-pointer bounced off the front of the rim.
The Cowboys will move on to the tournament finals Sunday against Texas Tech, which defeated Oklahoma in Saturday's first semifinals.
Wayne Simien nearly carried KU to a victory, scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Fellow senior Michael Lee helped out with 14 points and five assists, but Aaron Miles scored just two points. The senior point guard did dish out 11 assists, though.
The game was back and forth in the first half, with the Cowboys holding a 30-29 halftime lead after finishing the period on a 6-2 run.
Kansas regained the lead, 33-32, on a putback by J.R. Giddens early in the second half and extended the lead to three points on a basket by Michael Lee, but Oklahoma State once again battled to a lead of its own, 51-45, with a 9-2 run.
The Jayhawks regained the lead, 59-58, thanks to four straight three-pointers - KU's first made three-pointers of the game. The Cowboys answered with the next six points and took a 69-63 lead with about four minutes to go.
Kansas drew within a point, 76-75, in the closing minute on a three-pointer by Giddens, but Joey Graham hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds for the three-point margin of victory.
Christian Moody, who scored the first basket of the game, had six points for KU, Giddens had 11 points and C.J. Giles had four points. Galindo scored five points and Jeff Hawkins had three.
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Stephen Graham had three points and a foul for OSU, John Lucas had 11 points, and Joey Graham had 25 points and three fouls.
Terrence Crawford had five points before fouling out, JamesOn Curry had 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Ivan McFarlin had 11 points and four fouls. Daniel Bobik had 11 points #&8212; all in the second half.
The Jayhawks were 31-of-56 shooting from the field, including 5-of-14 from three-point range, and 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw stripe. Kansas had 11 turnovers.
The Cowboys were 27-of-56 shooting from the field, including 5-of-16 from long distance, and 19-of-24 shooting from the foul line. Oklahoma State had six turnovers.
All stats are unofficial.