No. 4 Kansas rallies from 15 down to beat Oklahoma State 69-67

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – The last time Kansas needed to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit was on the biggest stage in college basketball.

The Jayhawks certainly weren’t going to be intimidated by one in Allen Fieldhouse.

With another raucous home crowd behind it, the nation’s No. 4 team quickly wiped out the big lead Oklahoma State had painstakingly built. And when KJ Adams scored the go-ahead basket with 4.8 seconds left, the Jayhawks twice stopped the Cowboys at the other end to squeak out a 69-67 victory Saturday in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

“There aren’t any 15-point plays,” said Jalen Wilson, who was instrumental in helping the Jayhawks rally from the same hole to beat North Carolina for the national title, “so the main thing was to win every 4 minutes and that’s what we did.”

Wilson finished with 20 points and Adams had 14 to lead the Jayhawks (12-0), who trailed 45-30 at the break before a 22-5 run wiped out the deficit and propelled them to their 32nd consecutive conference-opening win.

“It could have went to 20 real quick or we could get it down to 10,” Wilson said. “We all came together, shook off the first half, understood we’re at home. Fifteen points can seem like a lot but it’s not.”

The Cowboys (8-5) didn’t give up after the comeback, finding themselves with the lead again in the closing minutes.

Kansas took it back on Kevin McCullar Jr.’s 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, and Wilson added two free throws moments later to stretch the lead to 67-64. But the Cowboys’ Bryce Thompson, who began his career at Kansas and matched a career high with 23 points, drilled his own 3-pointer with 14.8 seconds left to tie the game at 67.

The Jayhawks raced up court, got the ball to Adams and he made a nifty lay-in to regain the lead.

“We always run plays where I screen and roll out real fast,” Adams said. “It was just like that.”

Oklahoma State lost the ball at the other end trying to score in transition, and with 1.1 seconds on the clock, the Cowboys got the inbounds pass to Thompson, whose shot was swatted from behind. A final inbounds pass was batted away.

Thompson hit seven 3-pointers but dealt with second-half foul trouble for the Cowboys, who have lost four straight and nine of their last 10 to the Jayhawks. John-Michael Wright also had four 3s and finished with 19 points.

“We gave ourselves a chance right up there to the end,” Cowboys coach Mike Boynton said, “but there’s no moral victories.”

The last instruction Oklahoma State got before tipoff came on a whiteboard held by a staff member: “Alert The Lob Backdoor.” The Cowboys shut that down and just about everything else.

McCullar had three turnovers in the first 5 minutes and four in the half. Adams also had four in the half. And one of the two 3-pointers that Gradey Dick hit was a desperation bank high off the glass.

Oklahoma State capitalized at the other end, taking advantage of wide open skip passes for their own easy 3s. Thompson hit four of them in the first 15 minutes, and two more attempts were halfway down before bouncing out. Wright’s fall-away 3 with 1:56 left forced Kansas to call timeout, and his buzzer-beater gave Oklahoma State a 45-30 halftime lead.

The Cowboys were 9 of 18 from the arc in the first half. Kansas had 11 turnovers.

Then came the comeback.

It began when DaJuan Harris Jr. drilled a 3 in front of the Kansas bench. It continued with 11 straight points after Thompson hit another 3 of his own. And by the time Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 10:54 to go, the Jayhawks had ridden a 22-5 surge to not only wipe out their halftime deficit but take their first lead since the opening minutes.

Kansas wasn’t able to draw away, though. And that set up a frantic final 10 minutes.

“It’s the exact same thing as the national championship,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “You turn it up, tie it earlier than you ever expect and then it becomes a basketball game.”


Oklahoma State. The pressure of Allen Fieldhouse was evident in the second half. The Cowboys’ first three possessions ended with a missed shot, another miss as the shot clock sounded and a shot-clock violation. By the time they finally got their legs under them, Kansas had wiped out their advantage and made for a tense finish.

Kansas: Even during the Jayhawks’ 22-5 second-half run, when they went scoreless on three straight possessions, their defense kept Oklahoma State from regaining momentum. It helped that they only turned it over once after the break.


Oklahoma State: Plays No. 24 West Virginia on Monday night.

Kansas: Heads to Texas Tech on Tuesday night.

Biden celebrates LSU women’s and UConn men’s basketball teams at separate White House events


WASHINGTON – All of the past drama and sore feelings associated with Louisiana State’s invitation to the White House were seemingly forgotten or set aside Friday as President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the championship women’s basketball team to the mansion with smiles, hugs and lavish praise all around.

The visit had once appeared in jeopardy after Jill Biden suggested that the losing Iowa team be invited, too. But none of that was mentioned as both Bidens heralded the players for their performance and the way they have helped advance women’s sports.

“Folks, we witnessed history,” the president said. “In this team, we saw hope, we saw pride and we saw purpose. It matters.”

The ceremony was halted for about 10 minutes after forward Sa’Myah Smith appeared to collapse as she and her teammates stood behind Biden. A wheelchair was brought in and coach Kim Mulkey assured the audience that Smith was fine.

LSU said in a statement that Smith felt overheated, nauseous and thought she might faint. She was evaluated by LSU and White House medical staff and was later able to rejoin the team. “She is feeling well, in good spirits, and will undergo further evaluation once back in Baton Rouge,” the LSU statement said.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Biden said, more than half of all college students are women, and there are now 10 times more female athletes in college and high school. He said most sports stories are still about men, and that that needs to change.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

“Folks, we need to support women sports, not just during the championship run but during the entire year,” President Biden said.

After the Tigers beat Iowa for the NCAA title in April in a game the first lady attended, she caused an uproar by suggesting that the Hawkeyes also come to the White House.

LSU star Angel Reese called the idea “A JOKE” and said she would prefer to visit with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, instead. The LSU team largely is Black, while Iowa’s top player, Caitlin Clark, is white, as are most of her teammates.

Nothing came of Jill Biden’s idea and the White House only invited the Tigers. Reese ultimately said she would not skip the White House visit. She and co-captain Emily Ward presented team jerseys bearing the number “46” to Biden and the first lady. Hugs were exchanged.

Jill Biden also lavished praise on the team, saying the players showed “what it means to be a champion.”

“In this room, I see the absolute best of the best,” she said, adding that watching them play was “pure magic.”

“Every basket was pure joy and I kept thinking about how far women’s sports have come,” the first lady added, noting that she grew up before Title IX was passed. “We’ve made so much progress and we still have so much more work to do.”

The president added that “the way in which women’s sports has come along is just incredible. It’s really neat to see, since I’ve got four granddaughters.”

After Smith was helped to a wheelchair, Mulkey told the audience the player was OK.

“As you can see, we leave our mark where we go,” Mulkey joked. “Sa’Myah is fine. She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed.”

A few members of Congress and Biden aides past and present with Louisiana roots dropped what they were doing to attend the East Room event, including White House budget director Shalanda Young. Young is in the thick of negotiations with House Republicans to reach a deal by the middle of next week to stave off what would be a globally calamitous U.S. financial default if the U.S. can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills.

The president, who wore a necktie in the shade of LSU’s purple, said Young, who grew up in Baton Rouge, told him, “I’m leaving the talks to be here.” Rep. Garret Graves, one of the House GOP negotiators, also attended.

Biden closed sports Friday by changing to a blue tie and welcoming the UConn’s men’s championship team for its own celebration. The Huskies won their fifth national title by defeating San Diego State, 76-59, in April.

“Congratulations to the whole UConn nation,” he said.

Marquette’s Prosper says he will stay in draft rather than returning to school

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MILWAUKEE — Olivier-Maxence Prosper announced he is keeping his name under NBA draft consideration rather than returning to Marquette.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decision.

“Thank you Marquette nation, my coaches, my teammates and support staff for embracing me from day one,” Prosper said in an Instagram post. “My time at Marquette has been incredible. With that being said, I will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft. I’m excited for what comes next. On to the next chapter…”

Prosper had announced last month he was entering the draft. He still could have returned to school and maintained his college eligibility by withdrawing from the draft by May 31. Prosper’s announcement indicates he instead is going ahead with his plans to turn pro.

Prosper averaged 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds last season while helping Marquette go 29-7 and win the Big East’s regular-season and tournament titles. Marquette’s season ended with a 69-60 loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.

He played two seasons at Marquette after transferring from Clemson, where he spent one season.

Kansas’ Kevin McCullar Jr. returning for last season of eligibility

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Kevin McCullar Jr. said that he will return to Kansas for his final year of eligibility, likely rounding out a roster that could make the Jayhawks the preseason No. 1 next season.

McCullar transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas for last season, when he started 33 of 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds. He was also among the nation’s leaders in steals, and along with being selected to the Big 12’s all-defensive team, the 6-foot-6 forward was a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

“To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog,” McCullar said in announcing his return.

Along with McCullar, the Jayhawks return starters Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams from a team that went 28–8, won the Big 12 regular-season title and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Arkansas in the second round.

Perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks landed Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, widely considered the best player in the portal, to anchor a lineup that was missing a true big man. They also grabbed former five-star prospect Arterio Morris, who left Texas, and Towson’s Nick Timberlake, who emerged last season as one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.

The Jayhawks also have an elite recruiting class arriving that is headlined by five-star recruit Elmarko Jackson.

McCullar declared for the draft but, after getting feedback from scouts, decided to return. He was a redshirt senior last season, but he has another year of eligibility because part of his career was played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “Kevin is not only a terrific player but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

Clemson leading scorer Hall withdraws from NBA draft, returns to Tigers

clemson pj hall
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson leading scorer PJ Hall is returning to college after withdrawing from the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 forward took part in the NBA combine and posted his decision to put off the pros on social media.

Hall led the Tigers with 15.3 points per game this past season. He also led the Tigers with 37 blocks, along with 5.7 rebounds. Hall helped Clemson finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference while posting a program-record 14 league wins.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Hall gained experience from going through the NBA’s combine that will help the team next season. “I’m counting on him and others to help lead a very talented group,” he said.

Hall was named to the all-ACC third team last season as the Tigers went 23-10.

George Washington adopts new name ‘Revolutionaries’ to replace ‘Colonials’

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University’s sports teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced.

Revolutionaries replaces Colonials, which had been GW’s name since 1926. Officials made the decision last year to drop the old name after determining it no longer unified the community.

GW said 8,000 different names were suggested and 47,000 points of feedback made during the 12-month process. Revolutionaries won out over the other final choices of Ambassadors, Blue Fog and Sentinels.

“I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker,” president Mark S. Wrighton said. “This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community – and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”

George the mascot will stay and a new logo developed soon for the Revolutionaries name that takes effect for the 2023-24 school year. The university is part of the Atlantic 10 Conference.