LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas was sluggish at the start of each half against Oklahoma State on Monday night.
The real story, though, was how they finished them.
The second-ranked Jayhawks seized control of the game with a 30-9 run into halftime, then used a 32-11 run to finish the game for a 94-67 victory over a Cowboys team that beat them by 19 just last month.
"I think we play better when we're nervous about it," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Tonight they kind of had an inner confidence, which is good, and thought that we'd be OK the whole game, which it ended up being. But I don't think we had the intensity level that we need."
Wayne Selden Jr. led the Jayhawks (22-4, 10-3 Big 12) with 18 points. Landen Lucas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Perry Ellis shrugged off a slow start to score 15, and Frank Mason III finished with 14 points.
"Offensively, our perimeter was pretty good," Self said. "Interior-wise, Landen played good and I think everyone else kind of pieced it together."
Oklahoma State (12-14, 3-10) led much of the first half, fell behind by 18 early in the second, then trimmed their deficit to 62-56 with about 11 minutes to go. But that's when the Jayhawks caught fire down the stretch, pulling away for a lopsided victory over Self's alma mater.
"We came out sluggish -- some games you're not going to come out like you're supposed to," Selden said, "but it's all about changing it. We were able to change it."
Jeff Newberry scored 19 points and Jeffrey Carroll had 13 for the Cowboys, who again played without leading scorer Jawun Evans. The freshman has been sidelined since hurting his right shoulder Feb. 3.
"We didn't end the first half very well, didn't end the second half very well, and that doesn't spell success for any team coming in here," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
The Jayhawks looked as if they were still reveling in Saturday's road win over No. 3 Oklahoma in the early minutes Monday, struggling through turnovers and a jumble of poor shots to dig a deep hole.
Oklahoma State made it seem even bigger by sticking to Ford's game plan of slowing the game. Whenever the Cowboys pulled down a rebound, he would stomp on the floor and remind his team to maintain the kind of plodding pace that equals the playing field against a more talented opponent.
Eventually, all that talent on the Kansas bench took over.
With the Cowboys leading 25-17, Selden drove along the baseline and rose up for a dunk between two defenders. The play instantaneously energized the crowd in Allen Fieldhouse, and when Anthony Allen's turnover led to a runout and 3-pointer by Devonte Graham -- off a nifty feed from freshman forward Carlton Bragg -- the Cowboys were quick to burn a timeout.
It did little good as the Jayhawks pulled ahead a few minutes later on Selden's 3-pointer, and then finished the half with Brannen Green's buzzer-beating 3 for a 47-34 advantage.
"We came out strong, tried to give them the first punch, because we know at home they're a very tough team," said the Cowboys' Tyree Griffin, "but we didn't finish strong enough."
The Jayhawks' lead swelled to 18 points early in the second before Oklahoma State went on a run of its own, trimming its deficit to 61-54 at the under-12 timeout. But the Jayhawks answered with a coldly efficient 10-0 to regain control, and they waltzed the rest of the way to their sixth straight win.
"When I look at the makeup of their team, I don't know there's much missing," Ford said. "They got great guards, great big men. They've got a great bench, experience. I don't really know what they don't have."
Already hamstrung by several injuries, the Cowboys nearly lost Griffin to an ankle injury. The point guard said he knew there was nobody left on the bench, so "I felt like I had to go." Griffin finished with two points, 12 assists and only three turnovers in 38 minutes.
Oklahoma State: Tavarius Shine had 11 points. ... The Cowboys were outrebounded 45-27 and outscored 17-3 on second-chance points. ... Evans had 22 points in Oklahoma State's win over Kansas.
Kansas: Greene finished with 11 points. Graham had 10. ... The Jayhawks were 11 of 21 from beyond the arc. ... Kansas has won 37 straight at Allen Fieldhouse.
Oklahoma State plays Texas Tech on Saturday night.
Kansas visits Kansas State on Saturday night.
- Joe DeRosa
- Gary Maxwell
- Ray Natili