February 21, 2013

KU tops OSU in double overtime 68-67

A stellar game came to an ugly end on Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba.

13,611 fans watched on as Markel Brown hoist a desperate shot with time remaining on the clock before a wild sequence driven by a loose ball that was about as attainable as a greased pig in a group of rednecks that ultimately led to the end of the game.

The horn sounded and the Jayhawks celebrated a 68-67 double-overtime win that they all but stole out of the depths of Gallagher-Iba Arena, despite making just one field goal in both overtime periods combined.

The shots didn't matter, as Kansas won by making 9 of 12 free throws in extra time while the Pokes could only convert 3 of their 8.

It seemed as though everything Oklahoma State did throughout the entire game, the Jayhawks did just a little bit better. The contest was back-and-forth throughout, with KU's biggest lead being 5 while OSU got up by as many as 3.

The scoring was more makeshift than ever as well. Kansas phenom Ben McLemore didn't even score until late in the second half (he finished with 7 points).

Despite a decent night from Brown (20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) Marcus Smart fought through the trenches for 16 points despite shooting 2/14 from the field. Even worse than that, he had just 1 assist despite not ever finding his shot.

Let's get into a few thoughts…

If this decided the Player of the Year Award, Smart won it but it wasn't pretty. His shot was off, so he got to the free throw line (Made 11 of 14). On the flip side, McLemore was completely missing from the KU offense the entire game despite registering a game-high 49 minutes. The only real difference between the two is that Smart wanted the ball down the stretch and McLemore was MIA. If you can even give him that much.

The low post defense against Jeff Withey was superb in the second half. Michael Cobbins and Philip Jurick worked Withey until he was exhausted by constantly leaning on him and flat wearing him out. The KU center had 17 points and 14 rebounds, but he never really killed the Cowboys in the second half.

Speaking of Cobbins Anthony Slater said he was tonight's MVP for OSU tonight on Twitter, and I agree with him. He had 8 points and 14 rebounds (tying a career-high), but even bigger than that, 3 huge blocks including one to stave off a last-second shot by the Jayhawks that he instead rejected into KU head coach Bill Self's lap. He was a presence down low all night on both ends, and he's become one of the most consistent players on OSU's roster.

Free throws killed OSU tonight. They missed 10 in the game, including 5 in the overtime period. Le'Bryan Nash went 2/7 from the line, and even a good portion of their makes rattled around the rim before finally dropping through. For some reason the entire team was just a half-inch off on every shot they took tonight, and it's a wonder they made it to 67 points.

Those Flower Mound boys were all kinds of clutch tonight. First Smart hit a three to basically send the game to overtime in regulation, then Phil Forte answered with a three in the first overtime to get to a second. Both of them were horrid tonight shooting the ball (Forte was 4/12), but weren't afraid to take the big shot when their team needed them most.

Nine of the eleven losses in Gallagher-Iba Arena under coach Travis Ford have come to ranked opponents. Yes, you read that right.

With three steals tonight, Smart tied T.J. Ford for third-most steals by a freshman in Big 12 history.

Kansas made one shot in both overtimes combined. One. I know I said it at the top of the story, but I had to put it on here again. Hard to believe the more I think about it.

This was the third game in a row in Gallagher-Iba Arena that has gone to overtime.

Oklahoma State returns to action on Saturday when they travel to West Virginia. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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