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Travis Releford comes through with crucial plays late for KU

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Kansas guard Travis Releford pulls up for a bucket past Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Travis Releford pulls up for a bucket past Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown during the first half on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

1. Travis Releford: The senior made so many big plays it's almost hard to remember them all. Taking a charge to pick up Marcus Smart's fifth foul was huge. His defense on Markel Brown on the game's final possession was important, too. Then his hustle play to save the ball from going out of bounds to run out the final seconds secured the win. Releford also put on a layup clinic early, posting a team-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting with six rebounds, an assist, steal and three turnovers in 48 minutes.

2. Jeff Withey: Offensive rebounds weren't a factor for Oklahoma State in this game, and Withey was a big reason for that, as the senior notched 12 defensive rebounds while playing through foul trouble. Withey also was clutch at the free throw line, making 11 of 14 to finish with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to go with just one turnover in 39 minutes.

3. Elijah Johnson: Some back-and-forth jawing with OSU's players seemed to fire Johnson up, and on a night when KU's offense was sluggish, the Jayhawks needed all of the points he provided. Johnson made Smart look silly on a couple of moves to the rim, finishing with 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting with a steal and two turnovers in 32 minutes. Johnson fouled out on a questionable call late in regulation after 32 minutes, and KU missed him after that.

4. Kevin Young: The senior made some poor decisions in half-court sets, but he still managed to get excellent rebounding production in limited minutes (11 rebounds, 27 minutes). The senior posted eight points on 4-for-9 shooting and had a crucial steal, but he also had four turnovers.

5. Naadir Tharpe: As the only ball-handler still eligible to play for KU, Tharpe made a floater with 18 seconds left in double-overtime that KU coach Bill Self called "the biggest play of his life." With the game-winner, Tharpe finished 2-for-11 from the floor with four points. He missed all six of his three-pointers and had three assists to go with four turnovers in 31 minutes.

6. Jamari Traylor: Gave KU some great defensive minutes while Withey was in foul trouble and was especially sound with his ball-screen defense. The freshman scored four points, made one of two field goals and both of his free throws and added four rebounds in 17 minutes.

7. Ben McLemore: When KU needed a play in the overtimes, McLemore was nowhere to be found. Self gave the dreaded, "He wasn't plugged in" quote after the game, but at some point, the freshman has to work harder to create for himself. After going 0-for-8 in the first half, McLemore finished with seven points on 3-for-12 shooting. He did add six rebounds and two steals to go with one turnover in a game-high 49 minutes.

8. Perry Ellis: Had two rebounds, a turnover, and two bad fouls in seven minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (207 points)
2. Ben McLemore (199 points)
3. Travis Releford (192 points)
4. Kevin Young (151 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (138 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (133 points)
7. Perry Ellis (108 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (88 points)
9. Andrew White III (43 points)
10. Rio Adams (26 points)
11. Justin Wesley (16 points)

Big 12 Standings
1. Jeff Withey (116 points)
2. Ben McLemore (110 points)
3. Travis Releford (106 points)
4. Kevin Young (92 points)
5. Naadir Tharpe (72 points)
6. Elijah Johnson (63 points)
7. Perry Ellis (56 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (47 points)
9. Andrew White III (20 points)
10. Rio Adams (11 points)
11. Justin Wesley (9 points)

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