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Smart, Oklahoma State take down Kansas 72-65

Smart, Oklahoma State Upset Kansas

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Marcus Smart had no intention of avoiding Joel Embiid, Kansas' 7-foot shot blocker.
Even after a first half in which he missed all seven shots, Oklahoma State's star guard remained intent on challenging one of the nation's most intimidating post players.

Smart's strategy worked. He scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Cowboys defeat the fifth-ranked Jayhawks 72-65 on Saturday night and give a major boost to his team's once-fading NCAA tournament hopes.

Smart made five of seven field goals and eight of 12 free throws in the second half. Embiid committed three fouls in the first 6 minutes of the second half, twice sending Smart to the free throw line. From there, the tone was set.

"I was always taught that you've got to attack the shot blocker," Smart said. "You've got to attack his body and chop him down a little bit. Take his legs from under him and that makes him a little shorter."

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford knew Smart was capable of turning things around.

"After the game, I told him he's a piece of work," Ford said. "You have to stick with him, because he's going to make plays. He's a competitor. That's what he did. He was huge down the stretch."

Markel Brown scored 21 points and Le'Bryan Nash added 16 for Oklahoma State (19-10, 7-9 Big 12), which overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half. The Cowboys improved to 3-0 since Smart returned from a three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan.

Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points, Embiid had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Wayne Selden added 13 points for Kansas (22-7, 13-3), which already had clinched the Big 12 title outright before tipoff because Texas and Iowa State lost earlier.

Kansas coach Bill Self didn't care about the regular-season championship after the game. He was more focused on his team's 22 turnovers and 23 personal fouls.

"To me, we missed our opportunity to celebrate," he said.

Self was concerned with how his team fell apart late, especially defensively. Oklahoma State shot 64 percent from the field in the second half.

"What's frustrating to me is we had the game where we wanted it and then we didn't make competitive plays down the stretch to give us the best chance to win," he said.

The Oklahoma State student section was filled nearly an hour before the opening tip. The crowd included Oklahoma City Thunder players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and their coach, Scott Brooks.

Wiggins' three-point play tied the game at 64 with just over 2 minutes to play.

Kamari Murphy's layup gave Oklahoma State a 66-64 lead with 1:37 remaining. Kansas' Naadir Tharpe missed a jumper, and Murphy pulled in the rebound.

Smart made a layup with 46.1 seconds left to push Oklahoma State's lead to four, then he broke the press and hit another layup with 23.8 seconds to go to put the game out of reach.

The Jayhawks led 26-25 at halftime despite 35 percent shooting.

Oklahoma State shot just 24 percent in the first half but forced 11 turnovers. Nash and Brown scored nine points each to keep the Cowboys in the game

Brown hit a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half to give Oklahoma State a 28-26 lead, but Kansas answered with a 3-pointer by Selden.

Smart made his first field goal, a 3-pointer, with 17:46 to play. He drew the third foul on Embiid with 14:19 to go and the Jayhawks up 38-36. Wiggins picked up his third foul 11 seconds later.

Kansas responded with a run. With both freshman stars on the bench, Tharpe and Selden drained 3-pointers that helped put the Jayhawks up 46-38. A three-point play by Perry Ellis pushed Kansas' lead to nine, and a pair of free throws by Wiggins extended the margin to 10 for the first time.

Oklahoma State muscled its way back into the game with a three-point play by Nash and a long lob by Smart to Brown that cut Kansas' lead to five and got the crowd back into the game. The Cowboys moved into the double bonus with 5:50 remaining, and Brown made two free throws to give Oklahoma State a 60-59 lead.

The foul situation was a worst-case scenario for Kansas, given Smart's ability to attack.

"Of course, when you're the best guy in America at drawing fouls, you're going to be driving every time," Self said.

Smart's 3-pointer with 3:44 left put the Cowboys up 63-61. Oklahoma State then closed the game out, something the Cowboys struggled to do during their seven-game losing streak.

"That's what we're capable of doing every night," Brown said. "We were just poised out there on the court tonight, and we took advantage of the mistakes that Kansas made."

---

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: HTTP://WWW.TWITTER.COM/CLIFFBRUNTAP

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nitro54651 March 02 2014 at 12:35 PM

Boo Hoo KU will not get far in the NCAA tourney.

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Evening Greg !!! March 03 2014 at 2:56 AM

I'm a true Jayhawk fan but you just don't win games with 22 turn-overs and 23 fouls. Something needs to change in their mind-set. I'm ashamed of the way they played against Okie State.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
bparis2408 March 02 2014 at 12:53 PM

Too bad Marcus Smart is so full of himself.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
bkoster2 bparis2408 March 02 2014 at 1:26 PM

they're all pretty much alike......thug mentality...yelling like a bunch of gorillas in the wild.

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4 replies
elkhartbiker March 02 2014 at 3:06 PM

Too bad so many of our universities go out and recruit a bunch of thugs, bring them to the campuses where they exhibit their athletic prowess and pretend to be students. What a scam and slam against traditional college athletics.

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3 replies
crarob March 02 2014 at 5:47 PM

"We had the game where we wanted, we just didn't..." BS. You got your chicken hawker a** kicked, Willy! You didn't lose, you got BEAT.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
English March 02 2014 at 5:58 PM

Marcus Smart is a flop king and the officials are letting him get away with it. But I happened to watch this game, and the officals let Oklahoma State get away with a lot. At one point Kansas had zero free throws and Oklahoma State had 7. Smart had 12 free throws and Kansas still had no free throws, there were 34% more fouls called on Kansas than Oklahoma State. I wanted to watch Wiggins play but he was mugged and no fouls were called so it was not a good opportunity to see what this kid can do. It looked like Kansas had just wrapped the Big 12 Conference and they did not seem to be excited about the game and Oklahoma State had to have the win to have any chance of getting into the tournament, and after watching Smart flop all over the court, I don't thing they deserve to get in.

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1 reply
flip33732 English March 02 2014 at 7:09 PM

Flop king,and where did he learn to do that...oh yeah,he watches pro basketball.

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RobBoothe March 02 2014 at 11:55 AM

The Stillwater Flop Job! Marcus Smart is the ultimate flopper. No respect for his play at all. Plus storming the court again, jeez. They were in the top 10 just a few weeks ago and they are storming the court?

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1 reply
bkoster2 RobBoothe March 02 2014 at 1:25 PM

it's just typical thug sports these days.....they all suck

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1 reply
jwfoust bkoster2 March 02 2014 at 3:58 PM

Wow, is it your time of the month or did you forget to take your medication? Read your posts, grab a mirror, then say, "I suck." Bingo, you got that right. YOUR a great example of thug mentality.

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delraythumper March 02 2014 at 12:34 PM

I'm surprised any athlete would ever want to go to chicken hawk university. kansas is one of the most evolutionary regressive states in the Country, home of the evangelical christians favorite darlings, the westboro baptist church, thousands of square miles of nothingness, and a hotbed of extreme radical politicians who want to legally persecute a minority population. I drove thru Kansas once, but fortunately, I didn't notice. There's a reason only 194 people still live in that social and intellectual wasteland.

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2 replies
bkoster2 delraythumper March 02 2014 at 1:23 PM

That's the most ignorant post I've ever seen on this site......you don't know the 1st thing about KU. You said " I drove through Kansas once" .......yeah, like that's going to make a difference ?!
Did Self's team beat your team ?
You talk like a spoiled brat.....no wait,...even they make more sense than you just did.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jwfoust delraythumper March 02 2014 at 3:56 PM

As an OState fan even I found this to be a butt stupid post.

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ectullis March 02 2014 at 1:44 PM

You are supposed to go to school to get an education, not to play sports. These are not heroes. Get them off of my computer screen.

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1 reply
jwfoust ectullis March 02 2014 at 3:54 PM

You might consider not looking, or reading, the articles. Sports have been a part of the college experience since pretty much forever. It adds a much needed diversion for some and an opportunity to excel for others. Many college athletes go on to play professionally. That's called a job. Thus everyone wins in the situation. Yes, some college athletes are not models citizens. Not that much different than those who are not athletes and spend the majority of their time partying hard. By virtue of your whining it makes you sound like one of those that has a hard time getting out of bed without hurting himself (or herself). Jealousy is an ugly trait.

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