- Associated Press - Saturday, January 8, 2011

STILLWATER, OKLA. (AP) - Jean-Paul Olukemi scored a career-high 22 points in his Big 12 debut and fueled a big second-half run as Oklahoma State raced past No. 17 Kansas State 76-62 Saturday to knock off the Wildcats for the second straight year.

Olukemi provided 11 points during a 27-7 surge that propelled the Cowboys (13-2, 1-0 Big 12) into the lead while Kansas State (12-4, 0-1) failed to score a basket for nearly eight minutes.

Preseason All-America guard Jacob Pullen scored 20 points and Rodney McGruder added 19 to lead the Wildcats as the preseason conference favorites played their fifth straight game without suspended No. 2 scorer Curtis Kelly.

K-State had its top four remaining frontcourt players foul out, and no one was able to make up for the absence of Kelly. The Wildcats lost in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the 11th straight time since 1994 _ before the start of Big 12 play.

Wally Judge, starting in Kelly’s place, opened the door for the Cowboys’ comeback by dragging down Olukemi while chasing down a loose ball in the backcourt. Olukemi hit the ensuing free throws, and Keiton Page hit three more after drawing a foul by McGruder on a pump fake. Olukemi then tied it at 49 with a driving three-point play to finish an 8-0 run by Oklahoma State.

But that was just the beginning for the Cowboys.

Olukemi’s putback started another run of 11 points in a row for Oklahoma State, and his 3-pointer from the left wing made it 63-54 with 4:45 remaining. An Olukemi free throw pushed the lead to 68-56 before McGruder finally broke Kansas State’s drought with a basket at the right block with 2:16 left.

Frank Martin called timeout just afterward and put Pullen on the bench _ already crowded with all his disqualified frontcourt players _ for the rest of the game with the Wildcats down 10.

Kansas State led 47-39 after McGruder’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 10:10 to play, quickly regaining control in the second half after the Cowboys had scored the final seven points to pull into a tie at halftime.

Even then, the Wildcats were coming off a six-minute stretch without a basket, having built a 28-21 lead with a 10-1 run mostly built on free throws.

Pullen added a three-point play and McGruder hit a 3-pointer during a quick eight-point burst as K-State went up 36-30 and regained control in the opening minutes of the second half.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide