No. 2 Kansas Downs Oklahoma State 63-62

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:16 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 10, 2011 12:13 PM CDT

Layna Dewell
Oklahoma Sports Staff

KANSAS CITY-Missouri—Just one day after beating Nebraska by one point to advance to the second round of play in the Big 12 Championship, Oklahoma State fell to Kansas 63-62 and was eliminated from the tournament.

Kansas, the No. 2 ranked team in the country and top seeded team in the tournament earned a first round bye and the Cowboys would put up quite the fight in round two.

Despite the loss, Oklahoma State (19-13) was the story of the game, especially the first half as the Cowboys confidently played together and executed to build up as much as an eight point lead over Kansas.

KU’s Marcus Morris, who received the Big 12 Player of the Year award before the game, put the first points on the board in KU’s second possession of the game with a two-handed slam dunk.

Kansas held a slight advantage throughout the initial minutes, but at the 13:20 mark, OSU sophomore Jean-Paul Olukemi hit a big three point bucket to tie the game at 11. As KU dribbled down court, Olukemi swiped the ball and raced to the goal for OSU’s first slam dunk for the 13-11 lead.

The moment of celebration was short lived for the Cowboys as Olukemi’s emotional reaction got the best of him and he received a technical foul for his taunting yell at a downed KU player after the play.

Marcus Morris continued to be the scoring spark for Kansas and had 10 points and three rebounds in the first eight minutes of play.

OSU took the lead again off of a give-and-go possession from Keiton Page to Marshall Moses for the easy lay-in and foul. Moses made the and-one free throw to give OSU the 19-18 advantage.

On the next play, KU’s Markieff Morris was fouled and went down hard on the play. He was seemingly in pain, but hit two free throws to go up 20-19 before going out of the game with 10:18 to play. While on the bench he continually massaged his left knee area but eventually returned to play.

Oklahoma State took the lead again when Page split the defense and flipped up a shot to go back on top 21-20. On the following possession, Moses stepped in and took a charge from KU’s Elijah Moses which was his second personal foul.

Even though Tyshawn Taylor made back-to-back layups for the Jayhawks, Moses and Page pressed on to keep the Cowboys on top.

With just under five minutes to play in the first half, OSU’s patience set up a picture perfect back screen for Matt Pilgrim to score on a two handed slam dunk off a great pass by sophomore Reger Dowell.

As the final seconds of the first half ticked off the clock, the second technical foul of the game was called on OSU’s Markel Brown after he yelled at Marcus Morris while he lay on the court after a play.

OSU held the 41-35 advantage over Kansas at the break thanks to the Cowboys 54 percent field goal shooting and 50 percent shooting from the three point line.

Oklahoma State led by as many as eight points over Kansas in the first half and held the Jayhawks to 40 percent shooting from the field.

OSU’s 41 first half points is the most the Cowboys scored against a Big 12 opponent all year.

At the break, Page totaled 12 points while Olukemi came off the bench to score 11. Marcus Morris led the way for KU with 12 points and five rebounds.

Although OSU’s play was the story of the first half, the team would get into foul trouble in the second which allowed the momentum to slightly shift in Kansas’ favor.

Just nine seconds into the second half, Markieff Morris made a layup to get the momentum started for the Jayhawks.

From the 16:30 minute mark on, the foul situation got serious for the Cowboys when Moses had to sit with his third foul and then less than a minute later sophomore Jarred Shaw fouled out of the game with no points.

Kansas took advantage and tied the game 47-47 on a three pointer by Mario Little, and regained the lead at 51-50 with just over 11 minutes left to play off a layup by Taylor.

Even though KU regained the lead, they never led by more than four points in the second half as both teams struggled on the offensive end of the floor.

With 4:42 left in the game, Markieff Morris took a charge against Matt Pilgrim who then fouled out of the game with two points and 10 rebounds.

On KU’s next possession, twin Marcus Morris hit a big three pointer to give KU its largest second half lead 58-54.

The foul trouble loomed for the Pokes who lost its third player, Moses, with just less than three minutes left.

Page gave the Cowboys hope after a made floater and two free throws tied the game at 60 with 1:27 left.

Little again scored inside for KU and drew the foul to go up 63-60 with 1:17 to play.

Olukemi hit a jumper to pull the Pokes within one point just under the one minute mark.

On the last possession of the game, OSU took its time and passed the ball four times before Olukeimi missed an outside shot as time expired.

Kansas’ 63-62 win eliminates Oklahoma State from the Big 12 tournament and advances the Jayhawks to the tournament semifinals. They will play the winner of the Colorado vs. Kansas State game.

Page led all scorers with 23 points while Olukemi added 17 points off the bench for OSU along with three steals and four rebounds.

Oklahoma State actually outshot Kansas in all three categories and had more points scored off the bench.

OSU was 20-of-50 from the field while KU shot 23-of-64 and from the three point line, Oklahoma State shot 30 percent and KU managed only 20 percent.

Only six Oklahoma State players scored in the game but off the bench, Olukemi and Brown combined for 22 points while four KU players combined for 18 points.

Kansas was paced by Marcus Morris who posted a double-double scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds. He was helped by Brady Morningstar who totaled 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Kansas, who has won the last four out of five Big 12 Championship titles, improves to 30-2 on the season and 29-7 in Big 12 tournament play.

They will face the winner of Thursday’s Colorado vs. Kansas State game on Friday at 6 p.m.