Oklahoma St.-Kansas Preview
Kansas has a share of the Big 12 lead and is looking to build on
another impressive road victory. Returning to Lawrence to face a
conference foe is usually a great way to do that.
The No. 7 Jayhawks look to continue their Big 12 domination at
Allen Fieldhouse by beating Oklahoma State there for the 16th time
in a row Saturday.
Kansas (19-5, 9-2) is tied with No. 4 Missouri for first place
in the conference, though it lost 74-71 on the road to the Tigers
last Saturday. They’ll meet at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 25.
The Jayhawks regrouped and turned in a stellar performance in a
68-54 win at sixth-ranked Baylor on Wednesday, sweeping the
two-game season series.
They could be in position for a similar effort against visiting
Oklahoma State (12-12, 5-6).
Kansas has dominated the Cowboys at home to the tune of 15
straight wins since a loss during the 1988-89 season. That’s been a
familiar fate for most conference rivals, as the Jayhawks own a
40-1 home record in the past 41 Big 12 contests, including a 92-65
rout of the Cowboys on Feb. 21. They’ve won 11 consecutive home
They beat Oklahoma State again, 63-62, in the quarterfinals of
the conference tournament March 10.
Another big performance from Jeff Withey could help extend
Kansas’ home winning streaks. The junior center scored a
career-high 25 points Wednesday, going 8 of 10 from the floor and 9
of 11 on free throws.
Withey’s point total was 10 better than his previous personal
best, and following a scoreless effort against Missouri.
“Coach (Bill Self) definitely got into my head and just told me
that I need to be able to play,” Withey said. “I can’t go games
where I don’t score. … My teammates definitely trusted me. They
made great plays and got me open.”
Thomas Robinson, who had 20 points and 17 rebounds against the
Bears, is tied for third in the conference with 18.8 points per
game, while his 12.0 boards ranks first. The junior forward is the
only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double, and he’s
accomplished the feat in each of the last six home games.
Oklahoma State, 1-8 in its last nine against Top 25 opponents,
is trying to win two in a row for the first time since a season
high-tying three-game run Nov. 30-Dec. 7.
Le’Bryan Nash helped the Cowboys win for the third time in five
games Tuesday, hitting a fadeaway jumper with 4.7 seconds left and
blocking a shot at the buzzer in a 69-67 victory over Iowa
The freshman swingman finished with 18 points against the
Cyclones and is averaging 17.0 over the last five games – nearly
four more than his season average.
“He should be (proud) and I’m proud of him,” coach Travis Ford
said. “To make the last-second shot and block the shot, it’s good
to feel good about yourself, but also understand you have to play
defense all the time, that’s what you’re capable of doing.
“He has to become a little more consistent, but he’ll get there,
no question he’s trying. I’m glad he feels good about himself
because we are on him a lot.”
Keiton Page leads the Cowboys with 14.2 points per game. The
guard scored 23 against Kansas in the conference tournament last