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Oklahoma State snaps No. 2 Jayhawks' streak at 18

Saturday - 2/2/2013, 8:02pm  ET

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Markel Brown let out a roar. Marcus Smart did a cart-wheel and a back flip.

Travis Ford exhaled for the first time all game.

After establishing a big first-half lead, Oklahoma State watched it all melt away Saturday. But in one of the rare instances of a team refusing to lose at intimidating Allen Fieldhouse, Brown and Smart managed to hold things together down the stretch against second-ranked Kansas.

Together, they helped the Cowboys pull out an 85-80 victory that ended the Jayhawks' nation-leading 18-game winning streak _ and their 33-game streak at the Phog, too.

"We just beat one of the top teams in the country, and a great team at that," said Smart, who had seven of his 25 points in the closing minutes. "It's hard for teams to come into their home court and get a victory. We're one of the few teams that have done it. We couldn't believe it."

That may account for his impromptu gymnastics.

"I was so ecstatic about the victory," the freshman said, "it just came to me to do it."

Brown finished with 28 points for the Cowboys (15-5, 5-3 Big 12), who hadn't beaten a top-5 team on the road since knocking off the Jayhawks on Jan. 2, 1958.

Oklahoma State stunned the Jayhawks by building a 14-point lead in the first half, but Kansas had pulled ahead 64-60 on a 3-pointer by Naadir Tharpe midway through the second half.

The Jayhawks still led by six when Phil Forte hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 4:15 left to begin a 13-2 charge, allowing Oklahoma State to seize control.

The Cowboys' stretched the lead to 77-69 with 50 seconds remaining, but the Jayhawks (19-2, 7-1) managed to play savvy defense and take advantage of a couple missed free throws. Andrew White III's 3-pointer made it 78-75, and his free throw made it 78-76 with 36 seconds left in the game.

Forte, an 89-percent foul shooter, made two at the line to restore a cushion, and White answered with two of his own. Smart added a free throw, and Johnson's layup cut the Cowboys' lead to 81-80.

Forte calmly made two more free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining, and Johnson turned the ball over near mid-court before Kansas could even get up a tying 3-point attempt. Forte got ahold of the ball and laid it in at the buzzer to punctuate the victory.

"This place here, it's one of the greatest environments in college basketball, against a great basketball team," said Ford, who had been 1-5 in his coaching career against Kansas. "We figured a way out to score a few points. Really proud of our effort."

Forte finished with 11 points for the Cowboys, all of them in the second half.

Ben McLemore had 23 points to lead Kansas. Kevin Young added 12 and Jeff Withey had 10 as the Jayhawks lost at home to Oklahoma State for the first time since Feb. 8, 1989.

"We haven't played good in three weeks or whatever," said Jayhawks coach Bill Self, who lost for only eighth time in 165 games at Allen Fieldhouse. "When you don't play well, you have to defend and rebound, and we didn't do that worth a crap today. We got what we deserved."

Johnson's turnover in the closing seconds was the 16th of the game for the sloppy Jayhawks. They also had 16 earlier in the week, when they struggled to get past West Virginia.

"We don't have a guard," Self said despondently. "We don't have a point guard."

Having one sure would have helped in the first half.

That's when the Cowboys took control with a 19-3 run, taking advantage of the Jayhawks' lousy offense while getting the ball in the hands of Brown, who had 11 points during the surge.

"We had to come out, punch them in the mouth and not let the crowd get into it," Brown said.

By the time Brown was fouled by Johnson and converted the three-point play with 10:58 left in the half, Oklahoma State had a 26-12 lead _ the largest by anybody against the Jayhawks all season.

Kansas eventually went on an 11-3 run of its own to get back into the game, but Brown delivered another 3-pointer out of a timeout and Oklahoma State managed to maintain a 40-34 lead at the break.

Brown finished the first half with 22 points, just two off his season high. The junior guard was 7 of 10 from the field, 5 of 7 from the arc and even had a couple assists.

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