The Kansas Jayhawks completed their Oklahoma road trip with a hard-fought win on Tuesday night, beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys 87-76. That’s three wins in a row for the Jayhawks and it’s their fifth win in the last six games.
Kansas has also now won 10 of its last 11 meetings against Oklahoma State.
KU and OSU went back and forth throughout the first half, with 12 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. The Jayhawks got hot at the right time, though, scoring the final six points of the half with a pair of three pointers by junior guard Joseph Yesufu and freshman guard Gradey Dick.
The second half was an entirely different story, though, one that Kansas dominated. The Jayhawks never trailed in the second half, and the deficit was never smaller than seven points in the final 13 minutes of action.
Dick led KU in scoring and set a new career high with 26 points in the win, going 10-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-9 from three-point range. That snapped a streak of three straight games being held to single digits in points.
“Every time he shoots the ball, we think it’s going in just like he thinks it’s going in,” junior forward Jalen Wilson said regarding Dick. “To have a freshman do that, it shows his confidence.”
Three other Jayhawks reached double figures in the victory, including 15 points apiece from senior guard Kevin McCullar and sophomore forward K.J. Adams, plus 14 points from Wilson. McCullar and junior guard Dajuan Harris both had to leave the game with apparent ankle injuries, though Harris later returned and McCullar said he wasn’t worried after the game.
Both teams made at least half of their shots on Tuesday, with KU checking in at 53.8% overall and Oklahoma State right at 50%. The Cowboys also shot over 47% from three compared to just 36.4% for the Jayhawks. Despite the lofty shooting totals, the Kansas defense came up big multiple times throughout the game, especially late. Oklahoma State committed 15 turnovers, 11 of which were KU steals.
“Offensively, that’s about as well as we’ve executed over a period of time, especially out of our building,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I think we showed some toughness, some grit … I thought we played well.”
The Jayhawks, who moved back into the top five in the AP top-25 poll this week, reclaimed a share of first place in the Big 12 standings with the win. The Cowboys, meanwhile, saw their five-game winning streak come to a close and they’re now two games off the pace with just five games to go.
Next up for Kansas is the most important game of the college basketball weekend, a home matchup with the Baylor Bears on Saturday afternoon. Baylor has won four games in a row and 10 of its last 11, it beat KU earlier this season and knocked off the West Virginia Mountaineers 79-67 on Monday night. ESPN’s College GameDay will emanate from Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, with tip scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
For more reaction to the Kansas Jayhawks’ 87-76 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, check out Mic’d Up with Jake and Fulton from noon-3:00 p.m., and 580 Sports Talk with Brendan and Dan from 3-6:00 p.m. Wednesday on 580 WIBW.