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Down 15 at half, No. 4 Kansas rallies past Oklahoma State

Dec 31, 2022; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Jalen Wilson (10) passes as Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Avery Anderson III (0) defends during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Adams hit a layup with six seconds left to lift No. 4 Kansas to a 69-67 victory over visiting Oklahoma State in the Big 12 season opener for both squads in Lawrence, Kan.

The Jayhawks (12-1, 1-0 Big 12), who overcame a 15-point halftime deficit, were led by Jalen Wilson with 20 points. Adams added 14.

The Cowboys (8-5, 0-1 Big 12) were led by Bryce Thompson with 23 points and John-Michael Wright with 19.

Kansas used a 13-3 run at the start of the second half to trim the 15-point deficit to 48-43. To make matters worse for Oklahoma State, Thompson picked up his fourth foul with 13:38 left in the half. When Kevin McCullar hit a 3-pointer, the halftime deficit was all but erased. When Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 10:56 left, Kansas had its first lead since 2-0.

From there, the game turned into a back-and-forth tussle. Neither team led by more than three the rest of the way.

Kansas went ahead 62-61 when Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 1:48 left. McCullar hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 43 seconds left to give Kansas the lead.

Wright missed a 3-point shot with 25 seconds left and Wilson grabbed the rebound. He hit both foul shots to give Kansas a 67-64 lead. Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to tie it, but Adams’ drive gave the Jayhawks the lead.

Oklahoma State led for most of the first half, using the long-range shot to its advantage. After Kansas tied it at 13-all, OSU rattled off eight straight points to claim their largest lead of the half to that point.

It was the largest halftime deficit for Kansas since the 2022 national championship game, when the Jayhawks trailed North Carolina 40-25.

Turnovers cost Kansas, as 11 miscues led to a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers margin for Oklahoma State in the first half. The Cowboys were 9 of 18 from 3-point range.

The first half was a two-man show for Oklahoma State. Wright and Thompson each poured in 14 points. No other player had more than four points. Wilson scored 10 points to lead Kansas.

–Field Level Media