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Kansas' streaks end with stunning loss to Cowboys

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm •  Published: February 2, 2013
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas guard Elijah Johnson had a chance to tie the game. All he needed to do was take another dribble, pull up at the 3-point line and hit an open jumper.

Instead, the senior turned it over.

The No. 2 Jayhawks were forced to watch helplessly as Phil Forte went the other direction for a layup at the buzzer that only served to punctuate Oklahoma State's 85-80 victory Saturday.

The loss snapped Kansas' nation-leading 18-game win streak and a 33-game run of success at Allen Fieldhouse.

"All he had to do was shoot it," Kansas coach Bill Self said of Johnson's turnover with a few seconds left. "He crossed over and I don't know where he was going, and he lost it."

Lost a whole lot more than just the ball, too.

Kansas had not lost at home to Oklahoma State since 1989, and its home winning streak was tied for the fourth-longest in school history. Coming in, Self had lost only seven times at the Phog in 164 games.

"This one hurts, definitely," said Jeff Withey, whose three blocked shots moved him into second place in program history. "We don't really lose at home."

Ben McLemore had 23 points to lead the Jayhawks (19-2, 5-1 Big 12), who rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit. Kevin Young added 12 points and Withey finished with 10.

Markel Brown scored 28 points and Marcus Smart had 25 for the Cowboys.

"We just beat one of the top teams in the country, and a great team at that," said Brown, who celebrated with a cart-wheel and back flip. "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."

Smart had a pair of key put-backs in the closing minutes, helping the Cowboys (15-5, 5-3 Big 12) go on a 13-2 run that turned a 66-62 deficit into a 73-68 lead with just over a minute left.

The Jayhawks managed to play savvy defense and take advantage of a couple missed free throws, trimming the Cowboys' lead to 81-80 on a layup by Elijah Johnson with 18.8 seconds left.

But Forte, an 89-percent foul shooter, made both of his tries with 7.9 seconds to go, and Johnson turned the ball over before Kansas could try a tying 3-pointer.

"We were definitely a better team with him sitting down over there next to us watching the game," Self said of his senior guard, who was a key part of last year's national runner-up.

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.

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