Slow beginning leaves OSU at a loss

The Kansas student section tries to disrupt a free throw from Oklahoma State forward Le'Bryan Nash during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas student section tries to disrupt a free throw from Oklahoma State forward Le'Bryan Nash during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

February 12, 2012


Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-66 victory over Oklahoma State on Feb. 11, 2012.

KU vs. Oklahoma State

Box score

The blank stares on their faces as they ran to the locker room said it all.

Sure, Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball team had made the trip to Lawrence for Saturday’s match-up with No. 7 Kansas University, but, when the final horn sounded, the Cowboys were left scratching their heads about their failure to show up during the first half of Saturday’s 81-66 loss.

“It’s unexplainable,” OSU sophomore Markel Brown said of his team’s first-half egg. “We laid down. They attacked us in every area, and we didn’t fight back until the second half.”

By then, it was far too late. And even then, the Jayhawks never let the Cowboys get closer than 12 points during the second 20 minutes.

The Jayhawks (20-5 overall, 10-2 Big 12) have become known for their killer runs that put visiting teams on the ropes and leave little doubt about the outcome of games. That came early against the Cowboys, who trailed by scores of 12-4, 34-17, and 44-22 before heading into halftime on the wrong end of a 51-24 blowout.

“Going into halftime, we were getting beat in every single category,” said senior guard Keiton Page, who led OSU with 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting. “We played a little bit better (in the second half), but if we hadn’t have put ourselves in such a deep hole, we could have kept it a game.”

As strange as it might sound, OSU coach Travis Ford actually seemed pleased by his team’s effort when talking with the media. There’s a reason for that. Earlier this year, the Cowboys found themselves in a similar position after the first half of their game at Baylor on Jan. 14. Down 46-31 at the break, the Cowboys were outscored 60-34 in the second half of that one and suffered a 106-65 beatdown in Waco, Texas.

It looked as if Ford’s squad was headed for a similar outcome Saturday. The Jayhawks hit 63 percent of their shots in the first half, including four of nine from three-point land, and held the Cowboys (12-13, 5-7) to 33 percent shooting for the first half and 32 percent for the game. Heck, at one point, Kansas recorded two points in a rather unusual way when a Thomas Robinson pass bounced off the head of OSU’s LeBryan Nash into the hoop.

“We’re out here trying to play one of the best teams in the country in one of the toughest places, and they’re making shots bouncing it off our head in the first half,” Ford said. “That’s how it was going. Everything was going their way. It was just their day, but our guys decided to change it a little bit.”

Oklahoma State, which played just five guys in the second half and did not commit a turnover, outscored Kansas 42-30 after the break. The Cowboys’ defense limited Kansas to 34 percent shooting and forced several sloppy turnovers with a full-court press that seemed to bother Kansas. Asked about the turnaround, Ford did not take credit for coming up with a magic answer at halftime.

“I just said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to hold anything back in the second half,’” Ford recalled. “‘We’re going to be different than we were in the first half in all aspects, mentality and approach.’ When Kansas plays the way they did in the first half, even if we’re playing good, we’re going to have a tough time. But, again, I think (we) showed some resiliency and some character in the second half.”


Gerry Butler 5 years, 11 months ago

the one thing i think that the guys have to realize, that thomas has to realize is and thats he is not a guard and this has happened more then oncde he has to be able to understand or maybe not understand but follow thru is that his is NOT A GUARD there have been times and yesterday was another case where he is bringing the ball up the court and has cost us possessions thats what our guards are for his future that he will get paid for is not to bring the ball up the floor there are other players responsible for that. when osu was trying to make their comeback in the second half yesterday there was TROB bring the ball up the floor and turnin it ove he has done that in multiple games and although ya he does a decent job the point is that is not what he is surpose to do don't get me wrong i love my hawks but i just hope that come tourney time and possessions are at a premium that happens and maybe plays a big part in a W or a L unlike yesterday a possession turnover here or there in the ncaa tourney can make the difference between movin on or goin home. GO HAWKS

archazard 5 years, 11 months ago

You have made your Junior High English teacher proud!

soapisurfriend 5 years, 11 months ago

Really was that one sentence??? I think T-Rob bringing the ball up the court is fine on occasion, although I am surprised Self allows it. We have seen him go coast-to-coast with the ball a few times and make good things happen. This being said, I do think he might be trying to play from the Royce White mold a little too much. He has to play his game. It got him to NPOY caliber.

Gerry Butler 5 years, 11 months ago

lmao. i see we have a couple of wanna be comedians on a serious post. you guys are soooooo funny. you ALMOST ALMOST make me laugh. but uh? don't give up your day jobs. thiat is if you have day jobs - - - - - then again probably not. uh ya robinson DO NOT BRING THE BALL UP i probably know more about ku then you two put together so grow up if you can't take opinions from others not knocking ku just callin it like it is. if you want robinson to bring the ball up we can just sit the 4 others then t rob can pass the ball inbounds to himself dribble down court himself pass to himself shoot himself rebound himself rebound some more get back for other tams break himself and defend all five opposin players him self lmao you guys? REALLY SERIOUSLY?

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