STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State nearly knocked off a top-three team last week. The Cowboys got the job done this time.
Freshman Jawun Evans had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds to help Oklahoma State upset No. 3 Kansas 86-67 on Tuesday night.
The Cowboys (10-8, 2-4 Big 12) almost beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma six days earlier, but they missed a last-second 3-pointer and lost by two points. The Cowboys then lost at Texas on Saturday, their fourth straight defeat.
During a players-only meeting on Monday, the team decided how it would approach Kansas.
"We said to ourselves that we would just come out from the beginning and play desperately, and whatever happened, happened," guard Jeff Newberry said. "We knew that we were going to give it all this game and that we had to learn from our past games. That was just our focus coming in."
Oklahoma State’s fans lost enthusiasm early this season when top returning scorer and captain Phil Forte suffered an elbow injury that he hasn’t returned from. The fact that the win over Kansas came in front of a crowd that was barely half full couldn’t steal coach Travis Ford’s joy.
"It was a great win. It was a great win," Ford said. "I told our team that it was one of the great wins that I’ve been a part of, just from the fact of what we’ve been through as a team. A lot of people would give up on this team, say certain things, but we’ve been through a lot injury-wise. But to perform at the level we performed at tonight — I was so pleased with these guys."
Newberry scored 13 points and Jeffrey Carroll added 11 for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State shot 50 percent from the field, made 11 of 21 3-point attempts and outrebounded the Jayhawks 38-31.
Oklahoma State made 23 of 26 free throws while Kansas made just 13 of 24 as the Cowboys beat Kansas in Stillwater for the third straight time and the fifth in seven years.
"I think about everything that could go wrong with us went wrong," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We didn’t make shots when the game was at least somewhat in balance, and they were so athletic, and of course, they played great. They made timely shots, had seven different guys make shots. What went wrong was, they were far better than us."
Frank Mason III scored 14 points and Perry Ellis added 13 for Kansas (15-3, 4-2), which has lost two of its past three and fell out of a tie for the Big 12 lead.
Oklahoma State showed it might compete early. Carroll stole the ball, then hit a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma State an 18-13 lead midway through the first half. Kansas battled back to take the lead, but Carroll later hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, both on assists from Evans, to give the Cowboys a 40-38 edge. Evans drained a 3-pointer on the following possession, and Oklahoma State led 43-38 at halftime.
Oklahoma State extended its lead to 50-43 early in the second half, and a two-handed baseline jam by Newberry pushed the advantage to 10. A 3-pointer by Tavarius Shine gave the Cowboys a 66-55 edge with about 8 minutes remaining. Another 3 by Shine made it 71-57, and Oklahoma State rolled from there.
Now, Kansas must regroup.
"We’re so spoiled here," Self said. "We haven’t had many games like this over the years, but we’ve had them. Mature guys understand it’s one game and bounce back, but it is disheartening at the moment. But we’ll find out how tough we are."
Evans scored 42 points last week against Oklahoma, tied for the third-most in Oklahoma State history and the most ever for a Cowboy freshman. He scored 58 percent of his team’s points that night. Against Kansas, he scored 26 percent of his team’s points.
ON THE RISE
Evans has posted his two highest scoring totals in his past three games. He has averaged 25.3 points, 7.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds during that span.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham, when asked what was the most frustrating part of the night: "Losing, getting the court stormed on you —- I kind of hate that."
Kansas: G Brannen Greene sat out with a bruised left knee. He averages 7.2 points per game and shoots 58 percent from 3-point range. … Cheick Diallo got his first start for Kansas in place of Hunter Mickelson. … Oklahoma State fans gave Kansas play-by-play radio voice Bob Davis a standing ovation. He is retiring after this season.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys beat the Jayhawks in consecutive meetings for the first time since 2000. … Evans was named Big 12 newcomer of the week. … Shot exactly 50 percent in each half.
Kansas: Hosts Texas on Saturday.
Oklahoma State: Plays at Kansas State on Saturday.