Sky's the limit after Jayhawks fly down

The No. 10 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-2, 8-1) are in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference after beating the No. 12 ranked Kansas Jayhawks (15-5, 7-2) 80-60 at Gallagher-Iba Arena last night. "This was a big win," OSU guard John Lucas said. "We played with a lot of heart tonight and though I turned the ball over six time, I‚m glad we came away with the W."

With the win, the Cowboys have won their last eight games and 14 of their last 15. OSU got out to an early lead and never trailed for the entire game. The Cowboy blowout began when Joey Graham hit the first shot of the game, followed by a three-point shot by Daniel Bobik to put OSU ahead 5-0. The Cowboys continued that effort by hitting six three-pointers in the first eight minutes, including back-to-back three‚s by Tony Allen to set the tone. "We got shell-shocked early on," KU coach Bill Self said. "We let that deflate us rather than use it for inspiration."

OSU had a 75 percent three-point percentage and shot 50 percent overall in the first half. "We got off to a pretty good charge of three's with players in our faces" Lucas said. "We practice those shots a lot in practice while just joking around, but you never know when you will actually be in that situation." The Cowboy effort rattled the Jayhawks some more with six early points from Bobik and Allen. From that point, The Cowboys continued its dominance by getting the score up to 28-9 with 10:09 left in the first half. OSU led at the break by a 44-26 margin. In the second half, the Jayhawks played at a more controlled pace, but it was too late as the Cowboys managed to hold on to a 20-point victory. "We got out to them early," Cowboy coach Eddie Sutton said. "That was really the best first half that we‚ve played all year, so that is what finished them off." OSU out rebounded KU by a 43-26 margin in the win and shot 68.8 percent from the free throw line compared to the Jayhawks effort of 33.3 percent. All OSU players that checked in pulled down at least two rebounds except for Steve Graham, who played for one minute. Joey Graham, Ivan McFarlin and Allen led the rebounding effort by grabbing 8, 7 and 7 rebounds respectively. "I think Kansas and Texas are probably the best two rebounding teams‚ in the league," OSU forward Jason Miller said. "That just shows you what kind of heart that we have." All five Cowboy starters scored in double figures which was a first for the season. Lucas, Allen, McFarlin, Bobik and Graham scored 21, 17, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Though Lucas turned the ball over six time, he scored a team-high and shot 7-9 from the field and 4-6 from the free throw line. "I was disappointed with my turnovers," Lucas said. "But all of our starting five got to prove tonight what we can do individually." The Jayhawks had two players score in double figures to lead them. KU forward Wayne Simien had a game-high 25 points to go along with six rebounds and guard J.R. Giddens scored 12. "Simien had a lot of open looks tonight," Self said. "He was our only player that played well enough to be in an OSU uniform." The Cowboys are on a big tear in the middle of the stretch-run in the Big 12 with its next game on Saturday against Baylor at Gallagher-Iba. "Well, we played well tonight," Sutton said. "But we will have to bring them out of the clouds a bit after the co-eds stop patting them on the back by about Thursday and focus on what is ahead." OSU joins Texas as the only one-loss team in the Big 12 and will enter this weekend controlling its own destiny. "The sky is the limit." Graham said.

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