The Oklahoma State men’s basketball team remains winless in conference games.
Two nights after earning their first win of the calendar year, the Cowboys were blown out of Gallagher-Iba Arena.
OSU fell Monday 65-50 to No. 3-ranked Kansas. It was the annual Remember the Ten game – falling on the 19th anniversary of the tragic plane crash in Colorado that claimed 10 lives.
“Congrats to Kansas, they've got a good team, obviously terrific coach,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “And they outplayed us, particularly in the second half. And, you know, result is what it is. I don't want to gloss over the game at all. I'll take any questions I have.
“But I do want to thank our fans for showing up and honoring the 10 members of our program who lost their lives 19 years ago, it's really, really important that we continue that. And so the thanks to all them for showing up and being loud and trying to help our team, our current team, you know, fight for those people. But as far as today's game, we just weren't good enough.”
The Cowboys (10-10 overall, 0-7 Big 12 Conference) have lost six of seven conference games by double figures. The other was a seven-point loss at Iowa State last week.
KU used the 3-point ball to expand its small halftime lead to an insurmountable one during the first 10 minutes of the second half. KU made 11 of 33 from behind the arc for the game. Meanwhile, OSU was 2 of 18 from 3-point range.
The Jayhawks made double-digit 3-pointers for only the second time since sinking 12 against Milwaukee on Dec. 10. The only other time since then came Jan. 8 at Iowa State.
KU made 10 of 19 from long range in a 79-53 win in Ames, Iowa. KU made four or less 3s in three conference games and again Saturday against Tennessee in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
“This game is a lot of things – one thing isn't is it’s not easy,” Boynton said. “But to win at the level that we play this game at, you’ve got to work really hard. gotta believe and then you gotta have that courage when you go out there and play that you can do it. And we're working really, really hard. I believe that. I’m not sure exactly what we are on the other two right now.”
Christian Braun led KU with 16 points, while Isaiah Moss and Devon Dotson scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.
OSU senior Cameron McGriff led all players with 18 points. Sophomore Isaac Likekele added 10 points in the loss.
The second half of the game began with the Jayhawks taking control as they did throughout much of the first half. After OSU senior Lindy Waters opened the half with a jumper, the Jayhawks went on a 16-2 run.
The only OSU points scored during that run were a pair of free throws by McGriff. A few minutes later, he hit 1 of 2 foul shots to end a 13-0 run by KU.
OSU went 6 minutes and 52 seconds between made field goals in the second half. During that stretch, the Jayhawks built a 20-point lead.
The first 20 minutes of the contest was a game of runs. KU ended up on top by five points.
The Cowboys had a chance to cut the KU lead to one point on a pair of free throws by McGriff, who entered the game shooting 83.9 percent from the foul line. However, he missed both shots.
On the other end, Braun rebounded a missed shot before converting a short jumper over McGriff. His bucket gave KU a 29-24 advantage at the break.
The Jayhawks began the half with a 6-0 run before KU senior Udoka Azubuike was called for goaltending on a layup by OSU freshman Avery Anderson. OSU didn’t score again for nearly three minutes – after KU sank a pair of 3-pointers.
KU got hot from behind the arc following the Cowboys’ bucket. The Jayhawks’ next three baskets came from 3-point range. They led 24-7 with 7:55 left in the half.
Waters sank a jumper on the ensuing possession. That sparked a 15-0 run during the next five minutes. Five players – the returning five starters from last year – all scored during the spurt that closed KU’s lead down to a pair of points.
McGriff scored seven points during the run. The Cowboys used their defense to spark transition points and trim the KU lead.
It took KU junior Marcus Garrett making 1 of 2 foul shots to end the Cowboys’ run. The Jayhawks were 3 of 4 at the foul line. OSU was 6 of 6 before McGriff’s missed free throws.
“I don't want any sympathy,” Boynton said. “I don't expect any. We should be criticized. Our fans deserve better. They deserve a program that can continue to improve during the season.”
OSU takes to the road for its next game. The Cowboys will face Bedlam-rival Oklahoma at 2 p.m. Saturday in Norman.