Graduate guard Kendall Smith and sophomore forward Cameron McGriff each posted season-bests Saturday with 24 and 20 points, respectively, to lead Oklahoma State to an 84-79 upset over No. 7 Kansas at Lawrence, Kan.
The win was just the second for the Cowboys (14-9, 4-6) in Allen Fieldhouse since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97. Oklahoma State, which came into the game tied for eighth in the conference, had lost 16 of the previous 21 meetings in the series.
Kansas (18-5, 7-3) suffered its third loss at home for the first time since the 1998-99 season and its Big 12 lead grew even more precarious with the Jayhawks bidding for a 14th consecutive league crown.
The Cowboys made five of their last six field-goal attempts, but provided an opening with two missed front ends of one-and-ones inside the final 37 seconds. The Jayhawks, who made seven of nine shots before a prayer 3 with four second remaining, were unable to rally successfully, drawing within three before Smith hit two free throws with 10.7 seconds left for the final margin.
Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike scored 20 points to lead Kansas. Senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk added 17 points each. Graham distributed a game-high eight assists. Sophomore guard Malik Newman also scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, including seven straight early in the period to cut a 13-point halftime deficit to 52-45.
Oklahoma State still managed to push that margin back to 11 behind Smith and McGriff, who combined to score the Cowboys’ last 14 points. McGriff added a game-high nine rebounds to help establish a 41-28 rebounding advantage.
Oklahoma State grabbed 13 of its 21 first-half misses, led by as many as 18 and enjoyed a 46-33 advantage at the break. The Cowboys used a 27-17 edge on the glass to forge a 22-3 bulge in second-chance points, while also moving the ball well on offense to make 8 of 18 3-point attempts.
The output for the Cowboys was the most points surrendered in a half this season by Kansas, which came in with a minus-5 differential on the glass in Big 12 play.
The Jayhawks were unable to counter from 3-point range, going just 1 of 8 from that range in the first half while relying on Azubuike, the nation’s leader in field- goal percentage (.764), for 12 points underneath.
McGriff and Smith each netted 12 points for the Cowboys, who trailed by as many as 16 in their previous game, a loss to TCU that snapped their 15-game home win streak over unranked opponents. Oklahoma State could have own a larger lead at halftime but went scoreless over the final 3:23 after a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Lindy Waters.
—Field Level Media