LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Frank Mason III had 16 points and nine rebounds, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 14 points and ninth-ranked Kansas beat No. 24 Oklahoma State 67-57 on Tuesday night to remain perfect in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks (14-2) moved to 3-0 in league play for the ninth straight year largely thanks to its ability to get to the foul line. Kansas was 32 of 46 on free throws while attempting just 43 field goals in a game made choppy by the abundance of whistles.
Oklahoma State (12-4, 2-2) was still within 61-55 with 1:48 remaining, but Mason made two of his nine free throws and Devonte’ Graham added two more moments later to put the game away.
Le’Bryan Nash scored all but two of his 21 points in the second half to lead the Cowboys. Phil Forte scored all but two of his 18 points in the first half before cramping up early in the second, forcing the sharpshooting guard to spend long stretches on the bench.
The teams combined for 49 fouls and 71 free-throw attempts.
The rivalry between Kansas and Oklahoma State has become perhaps the most heated in the Big 12 over the past few years, picking up steam during a couple of fracases last season.
Nothing appeared to have changed Tuesday night.
After a physical first few minutes, Cliff Alexander was hit with the game’s first technical foul after he posterized Oklahoma State’s Anthony Allen with a dunk. Alexander flexed his biceps toward the scorer’s table and the freshman was immediately given the foul.
Forte knocked down two of his nine first-half free throws to give Oklahoma State a 14-7 lead.
The dunk seemed to energize the Jayhawks, though. Alexander made his own free throw to finish a three-point play, kicking off a 17-2 run over the next six-plus minutes.
During that stretch, Nash bumped Oubre after a dead ball, and the Jayhawks’ Jamari Traylor intervened, trigging a brief dust-up in front of the Kansas bench that had coaches from both teams dragging players away. Nash and Traylor both got technicals, making three in the first 8 minutes.
By the time the first half finally ended, the Jayhawks had emerged with a 32-28 advantage.
The foul-fest continued in the second half, but the Jayhawks slowly stretched their lead to 55-44 midway through. And while the game threatened to devolve into a battle of attrition, Kansas — despite its shorter bench — held tight to its lead the rest of the way.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have won just two of the last 10 meetings with Kansas. … This was the first time in five matchups the outcome was decided by more than seven points.
Kansas: Mason was in double-figures scoring for the 13th straight game. … The Jayhawks won their 17th straight game at Allen Fieldhouse. … Kansas has held each of its first three Big 12 opponents below 60 points.
Oklahoma State visits No. 18 Oklahoma on Saturday to open this season’s Bedlam Series.
Kansas heads to No. 11 Iowa State on Saturday in a matchup of unblemished Big 12 records.
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