Kansas Continues Big 12 Opener Streak, Defeats Oklahoma State, 74-63


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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

Stillwater, OKLA. – The No. 6/6 Kansas Jayhawks continued their impressive Big 12 opener winning streak, winning their 31st straight dating back to the 1991-92 season, defeating Oklahoma State 74-63 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Tuesday evening.

Kansas (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) wins its eighth straight game, while extending its series lead against Oklahoma State, 120-60 all-time. Oklahoma State (7-5, 0-1 Big 12) falls in its first game since last playing on December 18 against Houston.

Despite a troubling first half, the Jayhawks battled back behind a team-high 17 points from senior forward David McCormack, who came off the bench for the first time this season. McCormack set a career-high with 15 rebounds, marking his second double-double this season and the ninth of his career.

Along with McCormack, senior guard Ochai Agbaji (17 points) and junior guard Christian Braun (16 points) scored in double-figures. Agbaji has scored in double-figures in all 13 games this season and has now scored in double-digits in 59 games in his career.

Kansas had a big day on the boards, setting a season-high 50 rebounds, led by a combined 30 rebounds from McCormack and redshirt sophomore forward Jalen Wilson, who each pulled down 15 rebounds a piece.

Agbaji had a game-high 11 points by the end of the first half, which helped Kansas lead by as many as 14 at the 9:12 mark of the first half.

Over the final 7:26 before the break, Oklahoma State brought the deficit to zero, going on a 14-0 run to knot the score at 29-29 at halftime. The Jayhawks missed 20-straight field goals to end the first half, while it was Kansas’ first time not leading at halftime this season. The Jayhawks shot 28 percent (11-of-41) from the field in the first half, the lowest in a half this season.

Out of the break, the Jayhawks and Cowboys traded punches, until Kansas benefitted off back-to-back 3-pointers from Agbaji and Braun to bring the score to 46-42 with 13:11 to go.

Kansas’ consecutive 3-pointers would lead the Jayhawks into a 7-0 run, giving KU a 53-43 advantage at the 11:21 mark of the second half.

With under six minutes to play and leading at 65-57, the Jayhawks rattled off a 9-0 run on the back of five points from Remy Martin and four points from Braun to give KU a 72-57 lead with 3:35 remaining.

The Jayhawks would go on to hold off the Cowboys, 74-63, as Kansas shot 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field and 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from beyond the arc. Kansas held Oklahoma State to shoot 35.7 percent (25-of-70) from the field.

The Jayhawks continue their Big 12 road trip when they travel to Lubbock, Texas on Saturday, January 8. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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