STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — After nearly knocking off No. 11 Texas Tech, Oklahoma State was in position to take down No. 15 Kansas.
Again, the Cowboys came up short.
Kansas escaped with a 72-67 victory Saturday, with Dedric Lawson scoring 20 points and matching a season high with 15 rebounds. He also had three steals for his 18th double-double of the season.
Quentin Grimes added 17 points for the Jayhawks (22-7, 11-5 Big 12), who have won five of their last six games.
“We did play with a sense of urgency, even thought it may not have turned out the way we wanted to, but I wouldn’t have blamed it on that at all,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It wasn’t because we played poorly, it was just because Oklahoma State played well.”
Cam McGriff had 19 points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma State (10-19, 3-13) before fouling out with 1:38 remaining. Curtis Jones had 19 points and five rebounds off the bench.
“I’ll say this about my team, they embody the spirit that I want this program to be about,” OSU coach Mike Boynton said. “They’re doing probably one of the hardest things to do, which is not allowing the results to affect the process. They’re trying to make sure that their process gives them a chance to affect the results.”
The Cowboys, who led most of the way, have lost three in a row and eight of nine, including the 84-80 overtime loss to Texas Tech three days earlier.
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating,” McGriff said. “We just keep on building that foundation brick by brick. If we come out and continue to play like we’ve been playing, good things will come. We definitely don’t take any moral victories, but we can definitely say we’re heading in the right direction.”
McGriff’s layup and free throw with 4:02 remaining gave Oklahoma State a 67-64 lead. But the Cowboys didn’t score again, missing their last five shots. With Kansas up 68-67 and 14 seconds left, Thomas Dziagwa missed a 3-pointer.
After Lawson made two free throws, Lindy Waters had an open 3 from the right corner with seven seconds to go, but it bounced off the rim. Waters, who hit 7 of 10 from beyond the arc against Texas Tech on Wednesday, entered the day leading the Big 12 with a .469 3-point shooting percentage.
“At the end of the day,” Boynton said. “We got what we wanted, we had the best 3-point shooter in the conference. That’s why you don’t get caught up in that. You can’t. I’ll take that shot again if we had to go play it over right now.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks had their worst first-half shooting percentage of the season, connecting on just 33 percent, including just 3 of 12 from 3-point range. They missed their last four of the half and the first two of the second before things got better.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have been doing well of late with 3-pointers. They made 11 of 29 (38 percent), including 7 of 14 in the first half. That came after Oklahoma State hit a school-record 17 3-pointers in the OT loss to Texas Tech.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Kansas connected on 20 of 23 free throws while Oklahoma State was 2 of 5. There were a number of contentious calls that had the home fans booing. “I’m going to leave that alone,” Boynton said. “It is what it is, they called them. They’re not going to change it now.”
Kansas outrebounded Oklahoma State 41-34, including a 19-14 advantage in the second half. . After Dziagwa and Waters combined to make 13 of 19 3-pointers against Texas Tech, the duo was a combined 5 of 16 on Saturday. . The 17 points by Grimes was the most he’s scored since he had 19 in a 77-60 loss to Iowa State on Jan. 5.
Kansas: The Jayhawks visit Oklahoma on Tuesday in hopes of a season sweep. They won the first game 70-63 on Jan. 2.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys play at Baylor on Wednesday, looking to avenge their 73-69 loss at home Jan. 14.
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