While the Cowboys produced a second half they could feel good about, the KU vantage point wasn't nearly as pleasant.
The Jayhawks, after rolling to a 51-24 halftime lead, were outscored 42-30 by OSU over the final 20 minutes, when they also committed 11 of their 14 turnovers.
“It was half real bad and half real good,” said KU coach Bill Self. “The first half we were terrific; energy, we guarded, only had a couple breakdowns, attacked them inside, played inside-out.
“The second half, as good as we were the first half, we were about as bad the second half, but we were able to hang on and win.”
Self said he expected a Cowboys rally.
“At halftime, I knew they would come out and try hard, there is no question about that,” he said. “Travis (Ford) is a competitive guy, you can just tell. They had some individuals probably not play as well as they would have liked the first half.
“I don't know what he told them, but I bet it was, because I've been in those situations, ‘Hey, we are going to win the second half and let them know we were here.' And they did a great job with that.”
Sophomore guard Markel Brown was one Cowboy who played with passion throughout, finishing with a team-high 21 points.
Late in the game, the 6-foot-4 Brown even tried to dunk over KU's 6-10 forward Thomas Robinson, failing to get the jam, although the ball went in the hole still, and drawing a foul on Robinson for a three-point play.
“I feel like I can dunk on anybody in this league,” said Brown, who's become a popular highlight provider. “If I would have gotten a better running start, I would have got him. But I got the two points, so it counted.”
Brown and Robinson chirped at each other several times during the game, with Robinson getting in some final words.
What was said?
“I was just wishing him a safe trip home,” Robinson said.