Final Score: (2) Kansas 63, Oklahoma State 62
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Mario Little's three-point play with 1:11 remaining gave Kansas the lead for good and the second-ranked Jayhawks held on to earn a 63-62 victory over Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
After Little's layup and free throw gave Kansas a 63-60 lead, Jean-Paul Olukemi hit a jumper from the lane to pull Oklahoma State within one with 56.7 seconds left. Kansas then failed to execute offensively and Brady Morningstar's three-point attempt with the shot-clock winding down came up well short with 20 seconds to play.
The Jayhawks, though, answered with a great defensive effort and Olukemi was forced to take desperate shot from the right wing that failed to draw iron as time expired.
Marcus Morris scored 16 points and Morningstar added 11 for Kansas (30-2), which claimed the outright Big 12 regular-season title and will next face the winner between Colorado and Kansas State in Friday's semifinals.
Keiton Page poured in 23 points and Olukemi finished with 17 for the Cowboys (19-13), who had advanced to the quarterfinals with a 53-52 win over Nebraska on Wednesday.
Oklahoma State turned a one-point deficit midway through the first half into a seven-point lead with a 10-2 run. Page's jumper with 5:42 left in the half gave the Cowboys a 33-26 edge and OSU led by as many as eight before heading to the locker room with a 41-35 advantage.
Kansas pulled within one just over four minutes into the second half and moved in front with 11 minutes to play after a layup by Tyshawn Taylor. The bucket gave the Jayhawks a 51-50 edge, their first lead since the 8:26 mark of the opening half.
Morningstar followed with a pair of free throws and Kansas never trailed again. Little's layup with 3:18 left gave the Jayhawks a 60-56 lead, but Page hit a jumper a minute later and grabbed a rebound at the other end before hitting a pair from the line to knot the contest at 60-60 with 1:28 left.
Morris added 11 rebounds and his twin brother Markieff contributed 10 points with five boards...Oklahoma State made 18-of-21 from the line, while Kansas connected on just 12-of-21 free throws...The Jayhawks shot just 35.9 percent overall and made only 5-of-25 from three-point range...Kansas won last year's Big 12 Tournament and has captured the crown seven times in the 15-year history of the league...Kansas improved to 4-2 against OSU in Big 12 tourney play.
03/10 15:30:46 ETCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times