After a frustrating month of blown leads on the road, Oklahoma State finally got one. And what a big one it was.
Oklahoma State took a small lead early in the first half, extended it to as much as 18, and never relinquished, knocking off Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse 84-79. Oklahoma State has gone all season without a road win, and their last Big 12 road win came on February 22nd of last year.
What a special day they chose to end that streak.
Other than an early bucket from KU, the Cowboys never trailed. They shot 16-37 in the paint, and 8-18 from the 3-point line in the first half after a slow start.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks struggled from three in the first half, going 1-8 for just 12.5 percent. The Jayhawks just couldn’t get going in transition either, which is one of the areas they excel in. They use transition to disguise some of their shortcomings in the front court, and Oklahoma State never allowed that to happen.
Oklahoma State bludgeoned Kansas on the glass in the first half, out-rebounding the Jayhawks by 10 (27-17). 13 of those rebounds came on the offensive glass, leading to a multitude of second-chance points. Oklahoma State would take a 46-33 lead to the locker room, but this position felt all-too-familiar, both for Oklahoma State and Kansas.
Kansas opened up the second half and cut the Cowboy lead to seven in the blink of an eye. Cowboy fans everywhere assumed the game had already swung to Kansas, and it was just a matter of time until the Pokes choked away another road win.
Oklahoma State kept it up the entire game. Every time Kansas tried to throw a punch, the Cowboys would dodge. Big shot after big shot gave Oklahoma State a chance in the end.
Kansas has connected with a few body shots but Oklahoma State is nailing the headshots. Repeatedly. That's how you win in Lawrence. I think.— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) February 3, 2018
Kansas picked it up offensively in the second half, shooting an impressive 57 percent. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Oklahoma State shot 64 percent in the second half. With the game on the line, and a massive resume-building win hanging in the balance, the Cowboys hit shot after shot.
The play of the game came at the perfect time, too. Oklahoma State’s lead was dwindling, the Phog was rocking, and it looked like things were about to get dicey. That was until Cam McGriff soared in for this RIDICULOUS putback dunk.
HOLY PUTBACK! @OSUMBB'S Cam McGriff is insanely athletic. pic.twitter.com/2gqN9Ea3VY— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 3, 2018
SLAM CAM!!!!!!!! @cameron_mcgriff is working tonight!!! #LetsWork pic.twitter.com/cZ7FyHLXkO— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) February 3, 2018
McGriff might tear the rim off the glass one day, and I am here for that. He tallied a career-high 20 points (nice to be on the other side of a career high), and pulled down nine rebounds to boot. He was incredible today. Oklahoma State leaned on him and Kendall Smith down the stretch. Smith dropped 24 points and dished five assists. Down the stretch, he was Boynton’s go-to option.
What a massive win it was for the Cowboys. What’s more, it was a historic one for Mike Boynton, who accomplished something that the great Eddie Sutton couldn’t accomplish.
Mike Boynton in his rookie season accomplished something Eddie Sutton couldn’t his entire career at Oklahoma State: Win in Allen Fieldhouse— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) February 3, 2018