Le’Bryan Nash scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures as Oklahoma State erased a 41-30 halftime deficit to knock off No. 8 Kansas at home, 67-62.
The Jayhawks were on fire in the first half, hitting 7-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, including five straight to end the half. But once those threes dried up — the Jayhawks were just 3-for-10 in the second half — Kansas ran out of options offensively.
Bill Self’s club looked lost on the offensive end of the floor in the second half, as probing drives from Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham and Brannen Greene went no where while post touches were utterly ineffective. On Saturday, Kansas shot just 11-for-33 from inside the arc. As C.J. Moore of Bleacher Report pointed out in a column this week, the Kansas offense is built entirely around the three-ball, and when those aren’t going down, the Jayhawks are in trouble.
But the issues that Kansas had on Saturday were more than just shooting the ball. The Jayhawks looked lethargic at times in the second half, like everyone on the team was waiting for someone else to step up and spark a game-changing run that never came. That’s going to be frustrating for head coach Bill Self, as it looked like the Jayhawks had gotten over this issue in recent weeks. Kelly Oubre finished with just one point on three shots. Cliff Alexander had eight points and four boards, but defensive lapses kept him strapped to the bench in crunch time.
That said, credit to this win needs to go to Oklahoma State. Kansas blew an 11-point lead and struggled in the second half, but the Cowboys were more than ready to take advantage of it. Nash made some big shots in the second half, while Phil Forte battled through the flu to score 13 critical points. The Pokes used a 14-1 run to open the final 20 minutes, and proceeded to simply outwork the Jayhawks, landing their second critical win of the week.
On Wednesday night, they knocked off Texas in overtime in Austin.
The loss drops Kansas to 8-2 in the Big 12, a game ahead of No. 11 Iowa State and two games in front of the rest of the pack.