STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Marcus Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help Oklahoma State defeat No. 5 Kansas 72-65 on Saturday night and give a major boost to the Cowboys’ once-fading NCAA tournament hopes.
Oklahoma State (19-10, 7-9 Big 12) 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 for Kansas (22-7, 13-3), which already had clinched the Big 12 title outright before tipoff because Texas and Iowa State lost earlier.
The 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. Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown scored nine points each to keep the Cowboys in the game. Smart had one point on 0-for-7 shooting.
Wiggins scored five points in the half but committed two fouls.
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 Wayne Selden.
Smart made his first field goal, a 3-pointer, with 17:46 to play.
He drew the third foul on Joel 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 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.
Nash picked up his fourth foul with 4:35 remaining, but Smart calmed him down after Nash disagreed with the call.
Wiggins picked up his fourth foul with 4:09 to play. Smart’s 3-pointer with 3:44 left put Oklahoma State up 63-61.