Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cowboys come out hot in second half, knock off No. 8 KU

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, left, and guard Frank Mason III collapse on top of Oklahoma State forward Mitchell Solomon (41) as they compete for control of a loose ball during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, left, and guard Frank Mason III collapse on top of Oklahoma State forward Mitchell Solomon (41) as they compete for control of a loose ball during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.


— The Kansas University men's basketball team was red hot from the outside in the first half and equally as cold from everywhere to start the second half during Saturday's 67-62 loss vs. Oklahoma State at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Behind seven first-half three-pointers, KU built an 11-point lead entering the final 20 minutes, and even when the Cowboys threatened to climb back into it found a way to hit a big bucket to keep the home team at bay.

The second half was all OSU, though, as the Cowboys took advantage of turned-up pressure defense, several transition buckets and some hot three-point shooting of their own to take the lead four minutes into the second half. Although KU quickly tied the game after falling behind, OSU led most of the second half and completely controlled the way the game was played on both ends.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self says sluggish start to 2nd half killed Kansas

KU coach Bill Self says sluggish start to 2nd half killed Kansas in 67-62 loss at Oklahoma State.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis explain how OSU press bothered Kansas

Kansas University basketball players Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis explain how the Oklahoma State press bothered Kansas during Saturday's 67-62 loss in Stillwater.

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Box score

The loss dropped KU to 19-4 overall and 8-2 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State improved to 16-7 overall and 6-5 in Big 12 play. KU's lead in the Big 12 race is down to a game over 7-3 Iowa State, which thrashed Texas Tech on Saturday.

Wayne Selden Jr. led KU with 15 points, which included makes on his first four three-point attempts.

Oklahoma State's fans stormed the floor following the victory for the second year in a row.

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

• The game turned when: The Cowboys opened the second half with a little full-court pressure and a lot of fire. After Selden hit a free throw to start the second-half scoring, OSU ripped off 14 straight points to take a 44-42 lead and completely erase KU's 11-point halftime advantage.

• Offensive highlight: After falling behind by a seven points for the first time all day, the Jayhawks called timeout and then emerged from the stoppage with a set play designed to get Perry Ellis a lob. It worked to perfection, Frank Mason III delivered a pass right on the money and KU trimmed OSU's lead to 5 with 7:09 to play. Without that bucket, the Cowboys might have run away and hid behind the fuel and fire of the home crowd.

• Defensive highlight: There were plenty of solid defensive plays but few were as big as the charge Devonté Graham took on the run-away train that was Le'Bryan Nash. After a quick run-out by the Cowboys in transition, the 6-7, 235-pound Nash had nothing between him and the bucket but the 6-2, 175-pound Graham. Realizing that, Nash drove right, lowered his shoulder and plowed over Graham, who had guessed right and got his shoulders squared up in front of the charging Cowboy. The official did not hesitate to call it a charge and slap Nash with his second foul at the 10:51 mark of the first half.

• Key stat: KU shot just 10-for-19 from the free throw line, including several misses on one-and-one attempts.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will stay on the road for a 8 p.m. Tuesday meeting with Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. KU destroyed the Red Raiders 86-54 on Jan. 10 in Lawrence.

— See what people were saying about the game during the live blog.

More news and notes from Kansas at Oklahoma State

By the Numbers: Oklahoma State beats Kansas, 67-62

By the Numbers: Oklahoma State beats Kansas, 67-62


Justin Daniel 7 years, 6 months ago

Looking at our remaining schedule and I will be very impressed if we go 5-3. I think 4-4 is a better chance, and maybe we can finish in a tie for the league. There is no way this team will win at WVU or OU and after watching Baylor play today that one could be extremely though at home. Also, I think two wins inn the conference tournament is about the best we can expect. This years team has no consistent scorer and cannot get stops when they need too.

Jonathan Briles 7 years, 6 months ago

Thats how I feel. This team has all kinds of talent, but no consistency and no legitimate leader. There is tons of time to improve and adjust to the press, but if we keep going down the road we are then 5-3 would be about our limit. I know this team has a ceiling that would allow us to finish 7-1 through the last eight, but wether we reach that ceiling has yet to be seen.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 6 months ago

Give me a break. We lost a game and the sky is falling!

We went 8-1 but now suddenly we don't have the ability to finish out 7-1? Nothing is guaranteed buto to act like it's impossible to finish 7-1 unless this team plays better than they have (going 8-1 in the process) seems questionable.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 6 months ago

Completely agree Shannon. Nothing wrong with wakeup call while we were rolling especially when we still have the lead. Nothing wrong with a loss as long as we learn from it!

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, at least I saw Ellis dunked that pretty lob from Mason. I knew we dont' have that type of game plan that let guards penetrate & dish. Credit to OSU's scouting team. Now that everyone knows we can shoot from downtown,well.. zone freezes us over again. Ah well. We're still leading 1 game over ISU.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

We beat Baylor on the road and they just crushed UVW in Morgantown and now we can't beat either?

I know you're as PO'ed as I am but get real.

Robert Brock 7 years, 6 months ago

How about this headline: "Kansas comes out un-hot in second half."

Jayhawks scored a paltry 21 points in the second half. Maybe Self will consider installing his offense since it is now February 7.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 6 months ago

I think a better headline would be, "Kansas still shows no ability to handle the press, turns it over a ridiculous number of times."

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

This is where the inconsistency shows itself...from 1st half to second. We still consistently win both games and championships but sooner or later its inevitable that we will lose a couple of games if we come out cold, esp. in the 2nd half.

The offense works fine, we just need to do it in both halfs. Too beat Kentucky, outside shooting is a must or we can kiss off getting inside.

James Kim 7 years, 6 months ago

The inability to consistently put two halves together is now this team's identity given the way it continues to happen. Can this be ameliorated? Doesn't look particularly good.

Is it just me or has Self's recent teams in general had issues putting teams away/stretching leads? Maybe it is a reflection of how reliant KU teams are on one-and-doners these days. Or maybe it's on Bill.

The lack of reliable low post scoring really hurts this team when it tries to nurse leads/put teams away. Had to figure that the threes weren't going to keep dropping at the clip they were in the 1st half.

This team is a year away from contending and could be really scary next season, but I don't know if someone like Oubre is going to stay.

For now, the Big XII looks precarious and this team is no better than a 50/50 bet to get of the NCAA's first weekend.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

Funny, less than a week ago they were a shoo-in to the Final Four after a scintillating victory over Iowa State. This game does not have to be a precursor of what is to come in March. Remember, our 2008 national title team crapped its pants against a bad OSU team in Stillwater before putting their man-pants on and winning the rest of their games.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Umm the 2008 team never got blown out by 25 twice, lost huge leads to barely hold on to win or were outscored by 21 in 20 min. in Stillwater.

This team has some deep flaws, that team, lost 3 in a row had a gut check meeting and went all the way withstanding a very close shot from Davidson, and a historic 9 point comeback against Memphis in 2 minutes. They were not a young team. There is very little you can compare between those two teams other than they both have Kansas on their chest.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

I hear you Bryce..they must have meant Final Four NIT..

This team is still in great shape for #11 and OSU does not want us again in the BIG12 Tournament. And lets not get ahead of ourselves into who is leaving or returning.

I'm not sure ANYBODY should be considering the NBA as no one has separated himself from the rest of the team.

Lee Sears 7 years, 6 months ago

So we hit our free throws and all of a sudden this is a Win. I can't believe Ellis, Greene, and Mason who used to be our best free throw shooters performed so badly today. I am tired of hearing how important Mason is to this team, because he did more damage than good in this game. Too often he gets a fast-break that he isn't able to convert so we miss an opportunity and a possession. He is often too selfish with the ball trying to score when he should pass or pull back and get a better look. This was a game that was ours to lose, and that's exactly what we did.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Until Mason can start hitting his FTs, he should ride the pine after the final media timeout in close games.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 6 months ago

Mason has been the BEST finisher on fast breaks and in traffic the entire season. To say that "too often" he isn't able to convert just because it happened for one game is ridiculous. He didn't play well (other than first half shooting) but that doesn't nullify what he did the rest of the season. He's been our most consistent player (see his consecutive 10+ points streak for proof). He's been our best finisher at the hoop (see his FG % inside the paint). Just because it wasn't the case today doesn't mean it hasn't been the case all year. A bad game and a loss doesn't change these facts.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

He is the starting PG..he should be the BEST finisher. Good post.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 6 months ago

Free throws and a woeful inability to handle pressure were the keys and if we don't learn how to attack pressure the dire predictions above will be more than true.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

This game was a replica of last year's game in Stillwater: Build a semi-comfy lead, then blow it and watch them rip it from us.

I've figured out Travis Ford's strategy: Lull us into a false sense of security in the first half by spotting us a double-digit lead, and then punch us in the mouth in the second half. It's an effective strategy; I don't know why Self doesn't have his team prepared to take Ford's second half blows.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I have believed that 14 wins will win the conference this year and it still can happen. This involves us winning our remaining games at home and splitting the away games. The big thing I noticed is we have true energy when we are at home, and lose our focus on the road. As happy as I am about winning at home we seem to play very helter skelter on the road, which does not bode well for the tournament. We have the makings of a pretty good team, but it comes down to who shows up, and understanding we must play 40 minutes without mental lapses that can happen for periods at time or in this case, most of the 2nd half.

I am also away that we are not a contending team this year, and that we still need a quality center and combo guard.

Robert Brown 7 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. Win at KSU and Tech and won all home games gets 14 wins and 4 losses. In that scenario, the only way not to at least share conference title, is for ISU a to run the table. I doubt that happens.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

If KU goes 14-4 and ISU runs the table, they win the league outright at 15-3

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 6 months ago

ISU has a rough stretch in front of them. They could go 0-7. OU is the team that could run the table, finishing 24-4. That last game of the year is shaping up to be everything everyone thought when looking at the schedule in September.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

I recommended caution heading into the OSU game, especially with the article under the headline "Shoo-in"

Others disagreed quite vehemently; their comments or posts word for word are below -

Experts say KU Final 4 shoo-in – G. Bedfore - Headline Writer LJW

“I would not be surprised to see the Jayhawks reach the Final Four because the Jayhawks are starting to come together,” ESPN’s Jeff Goodman

KU is definitely one of the 12 best teams in the country this year. A. Paisley

Love the Overreaction Theater, though. Not sure who's funnier...Walt with this take or Rodney with his "We do not do well when we read our press clippings and think we have won something already or deserve something before we have actually earned it." BAHAHAHAHHAAAHAAA – Tom Jones

Sometimes the simplest things are not that simple for the masses to comprehend. HCBS has them focused on OSU, you can bet on it. All this article proves is that KU has made some great strides since the beginning of the year. - Tom Jones

Overreaction Theater. Good stuff. – Tom Jones (he tends to make a lot of inaccurate posts. I apologize he is listed here so many times, but well he posted all of these on the site)

Difficult to watch the second half of that game and think any of the comments by others above really carry much weight. It was just one half, but we have seen this team have terrible halves all year long. What was shocking to me was how quickly the lead was erased; less than 3:30 minutes is all it took. Maybe counting our chickens before they hatch is a mistake. It is hard to argue with the facts, the game we just watched. It has nothing to do with overreacting, it have everything to do with just being cautious.

Also, I believe this counts as a blown lead in all perspectives of the definition of the term as well.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

And that article had what impact on the game today? What did we learn about KU today that we didn't already know? KU IS STILL ONE OF THE 12 BEST TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY. Today does not change that.

KU will also play very flat in Lubbock because that is going to be a dead arena on Tuesday night. KU will also struggle in Morgantown. There is no team without weakness this year, and every other team that was on this list of Final Four contenders will lose at least one more time this year. It does not change that those are still teams capable of reaching the Final Four.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I have always been concerned when we play on the road at two places in particular: Stillwater and Ames because they always play us tough. This team is not good enough to think we can walk into a stadium on the road and win because we are Kansas. I have been glad that we had been playing well lately, but when we go on the road this season we just seem to be a different team. We can still win the conference, but the tournament is a horse of a different color.

Tom Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

"I recommended caution heading into the OSU game, especially with the article under the headline "Shoo-in"

You...recommended...caution. That's deep, man. And it totally went against what everyone else was saying...that the race was over and that KU was actually a Final Four lock.

Oh, wait. No one said that...

You do consistently crack me up with your belief that what we as KU fans think matters as far as what happens on the court. Somehow, "delusional" doesn't quite accurately describe it.

On top of that...nothing Aaron, Jeff and I said was disproven. Nothing.

Really an epic fail of a post until the last line (we did finally blow a lead). ;)

I am sorry that I've obviously gotten you so rattled.

Deep breaths, brother. Relax. It's a long season.

Robert Lofthouse 7 years, 6 months ago

They simply didn't want a repeat of the slugfest that happened in Lawrence the last time these two played - but the free throws - 52%? Lack of focus.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

BTW, folks, Arizona lost to Arizona State today. You think UA fans have gone into "sky-is-falling" mode about their 6th-ranked Wildcats for losing to the Sun Devils? You think their fans are wondering if their team will last past the first weekend of the Big Dance if they play the way they did against ASU? It's not time to panic yet. Now if we allow one loss to become two when we go to TTU, then we can start panicking.

Bob Zielinski 7 years, 6 months ago

they struggled the last 5 minutes of the first half and played a pitiful second half. bad loss, still going to win another league title. I love watching this team grow. blaming Mason and saying he blows opportunities on drives to the rim is just amnesiac.

I have confidence in this team. Self will have them better prepped to handle the press and you can't say much about a bad free throw game. they just blew it at the line and with so many turnovers.

it happens. keep the faith.

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 6 months ago

A mature KU played during the first half and at the beginning of the second half, the KU pups played! Got to work on when opposing teams pressure the inbound plays. That hurt us!

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