Can OSU Duplicate Saturday's Effort?

So, what did it take to hand top-ranked Kansas its first Big 12 defeat? "I made a comment to our coaching staff that, ‘We're going to need at least four guys to bring their A-game.' We had seven guys bring their A-game," said Travis Ford. That was enough to stun the Jayhawks 85-77 as the Cowboys got off to a big start, then preserved the margin throughout as James Anderson scored 27 points.

Shooting 60.4 percent from the floor was key. The Cowboys were not only deadly from 3-point range, but also capitalized on 12-for-12 shooting inside from Matt Pilgrim and Marshall Moses. They also managed to keep a sellout crowd in Gallagher-Iba Arena constantly enthused, which at the same time kept Kansas on its heels.

The outcome certainly provides another shot of confidence for the Cowboys, who have endured a somewhat bumpy ride through the Big 12, but own victories against the top two teams in the league after winning earlier this season at Kansas State.

When all the Cowboys are clicking, however, they can play with any team in the league and perhaps play with any team in the NCAA field. Formulating a defensive plan that begins with stopping Anderson can be tricky.

"He makes shots we don't let guys shoot," said Kansas coach Bill Self, "because he's that talented."

--Oklahoma State stands 3-6 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams, but improved to 3-1 in Gallagher-Iba Arena in such matchups with the Feb. 27 victory against Kansas. It was the Cowboys' first win against a No. 1 team since 1989, when Oklahoma State toppled Oklahoma.

--Although a few seats were not filled, the game against Kansas was declared a sellout and represented Oklahoma State's best turnout in two years. OSU coach Travis Ford said that on a couple of occasions, the noise level in Gallagher-Iba Arena was the loudest he's heard as a coach or a player. OSU students stormed the court following the win.

--T. Boone Pickens, the wealthy Texas oil man who helped Oklahoma State reconstruct its athletic facilities with $165 million in donations, contributed $100 million to help kick off an academic fund-raising campaign for scholarships, faculty support, research and campus construction, which is targeting $1 billion in donations.

ON THE SPOT: Playing against Cole Aldrich, the Kansas center many rate as the best interior defender in the Big 12, the Oklahoma State combo of Matt Pilgrim and Marshall Moses went 12-for-12 and combined for 26 points. Their effectiveness underneath prompted Kansas to use smaller defenders as Aldrich was benched for much of the second half. The Cowboys claimed a 36-26 advantage on the boards.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Kansas is a great team, and we all knew what they were bringing in here. When you have got a great crowd like that behind you in Gallagher and we are clicking like we are, we can pretty much bring anybody in here and play with them." -- Oklahoma State G Keiton Page.

SEASON RECAP: Oklahoma State is streaky. Three straight wins in Big 12 play were followed by three straight losses, then three straight wins. Texas claimed a season sweep of the Cowboys by presenting too much strength underneath. But then Oklahoma State recovered to beat another team with a sturdy front line, No. 1 Kansas. Lack of depth leads to some inconsistency, but if the Cowboys' shooters get hot, this is a dangerous team.

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Matt Pilgrim, F Obi Muonelo, G James Anderson, G Keiton Page, G Fred Gulley. Key Subs -- F Marshall Moses, G Nick Sidorakis.

Oklahoma State 82, Baylor 75.
Texas 69, Oklahoma State 59.
Oklahoma State 85, Kansas 77.

at Texas A&M, Wednesday, March 3.
vs. Nebraska, Saturday, March 6.
at Big 12 Tournament, March 10-13.

IN FOCUS: Oklahoma State gets an opportunity to knock off two ranked opponents in succession with the visit to Texas A&M. The Cowboys won the first matchup, 76-69, but Reed Arena is a tough place to play. A home game against last-place Nebraska to close out the Big 12 schedule seemingly assures the Cowboys of a winning record in the conference if they happen to lose at A&M.

--G James Anderson led Oklahoma State in scoring for the 20th time this season with his 27-point output against Kansas. By going 9-for-19, he was one of only a few Cowboys to shoot worse than 50 percent. OSU shot 60.4 percent as a team, the first time it cracked the 60 percent mark since a January 2005 win against Colorado. Anderson played despite back spasms that flared the morning before the game and stemmed from an injury he suffered in practice.

--G Keiton Page added 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting against Kansas, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He also extended his string of consecutive free throws made to 21.

--F Matt Pilgrim was suspended for the game at Texas because of a violation of team rules, then started against Kansas and made all eight shots he attempted while totaling 18 points.

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