Kansas Beats Oklahoma State 70-58, Wins Big 12 Outright
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Tyshawn Taylor scored 27 points, Thomas Robinson added 17 points and 11 rebounds and No. 3 Kansas claimed the Big 12 title outright by beating Oklahoma State 70-58 on Monday night
Taylor scored 10 straight points in the final 5 minutes to close it out, ensuring that the Jayhawks (25-5, 15-2) wouldn't suffer a similar fate as in their last two visits to Gallagher-Iba.
Unranked Oklahoma State teams had upset top 5 Kansas teams in 2008 and 2010 but there was a different script this time.
Keiton Page hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points in his final home game for the Cowboys (14-16, 7-10) and Brian Williams added 20 points but Kansas was able to withstand every charge to close out its fourth straight outright conference championship.
The Jayhawks have won eight straight Big 12 titles overall, sharing the crown in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
The Cowboys were trying to upset a second top 5 opponent in the same season for the first time since 2003, but didn't have the services of freshman Le'Bryan Nash this time. Nash, who scored 19 of his career-high 27 points to spur a rally past then-No. 2 Missouri a month ago, was on the bench with a cast on his injured left hand.
Oklahoma State has also lost two point guards who decided to transfer plus another starter – forward Jean-Paul Olukemi – to a season-ending injury.
Still, the Cowboys hoped to send Page out as a winner on the second anniversary of an upset of the top-ranked Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks outscored short-handed Oklahoma State 34-8 in the paint, held a 32-23 rebounding advantage and shot 52 percent for the game and 60 percent in the second half.
The noise from a standing crowd drowned out much of Page's pregame senior night ceremony, as public address announcer Larry Reece rattled off a list of his accomplishments – including the most minutes played and the seventh-most points scored in school history.
Teammates Michael Cobbins, Markel Brown and Williams briefly picked him up on their shoulders during the tribute.
Page hit two 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes, pushing him past Randy Rutherford to break the school record for career 3s, but Oklahoma State soon fell into an extended drought and behind to stay. The Cowboys didn't make a basket for more than 7 minutes, and Kansas took advantage to go on a 15-2 run featuring a two-handed, fast-break slam by Kevin Young.
Elijah Johnson's two foul shots made it 19-10 midway through the first half, and the Jayhawks carried an eight-point lead into halftime.
That's when Oklahoma State brought out coach Mike Gundy and dozens of football players for the formal presentation of the school's first Big 12 championship trophy.
But Kansas had an answer every time the Cowboys seemed to be gaining momentum.
When Page hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to get Oklahoma State within 40-33, Conner Teahan answered at the other end and soon the lead had doubled. Jeff Withey's spinning layup pushed Kansas' lead to 52-38 with 9:49 remaining.
Williams then hit a 3 from the left wing, only for Taylor to duplicate it moments later from the right wing.
Page attempted one last bid at a dramatic rally, hitting three 3-pointers and a jumper in a 3-minute span to trim the deficit to 60-52 with 5:33 remaining, but that's when Taylor slammed the door.