It was a game of runs early, but ended with KU running away from Oklahoma State in the second half for an 82-68 victory.
Oklahoma State grabbed an early 6-2 and a lot of KU fans may have thought, “here we go again.” But KU responded to take a 12-8 lead following a Malik Newman and-1. At that point, the Cowboys busted off a 16-2 run to take a 24-14 lead, and most Kansas fans probably thought, “here we go again.” But once again KU responded, this time with a 13-4 run, before pulling even at 30-all with just over 6 minutes to go until halftime. The two teams would trade baskets the rest of the way, with KU taking a 43-42 lead into the break.
After halftime, it was all Kansas all the time, built by defense. By the under-12 timeout, KU had built a 61-50 lead. With 8 minutes to go in the game, OSU was shooting just 4-17 from the field in the second half, 0-7 from behind the arc. Obviously it never got any better for the Cowboys, as KU coasted to the horn for an 82-68 final.
The game was a tale of two halves, with OSU making shots in the first half (17-34, 50.0%), and not doing so in the second half (10-32, 31.3%). Meanwhile, Kansas torched the nets all day long, finishing the game at 56.1% from the floor.
With Azubuike out, Lightfoot played 23 minutes, de Sousa played 15 minutes, and football walk-on James Sosinski picked up 1 minute late in the first half.
Malike Newman led all scorers with 30(!!!) points on 11-15 shooting, including 4-6 from behind the arc.
Silvio de Sousa looked good in his time, getting some nice pick-and-roll baskets and grabbing 8 rebounds. However, both he and Mitch Lightfoot struggled with, let’s face it, some silly fouls, with Lightfoot even fouling out of the game.
Kansas set a team record for made three-pointers in a season with 319 when Lagerald Vick hit one with 3:49 to go in the game.
Up next, KU will try to beat K-State for the third time this year as the two meet in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Tournament tomorrow, Friday, March 9, at 6 PM CST in the Sprint Center.