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Rush powers Kansas to rout of Oklahoma State

Jan 11, 2007 - 7:21 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Kansas turned a showdown into its own showcase.

Brandon Rush scored 18 points to lead the sixth-ranked Jayhawks to an 87-57 drubbing of No. 10 Oklahoma State in a matchup between two of the top teams in the Big 12 Conference.

Kansas (14-2, 1-0 Big 12) removed the suspense early in winning its eighth straight game, using an 11-0 run to bolt to a 25-8 lead just over seven minutes into the contest.

The Cowboys never recovered, falling behind by as many as 22 points in the opening half and losing for just the second time this season.

"That was an old-fashioned butt kicking. Our guys just didn't compete," Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton said. "This has always been a great rivalry and a game that the players always look forward to playing in and the fans always enjoy to watch and I felt like we set the series back tonight.

"We just didn't rise up and compete like we did the first 16 games of the season. I will take the blame for that. I just didn't have them prepared well enough for the environment."

The Jayhawks got a big boost from center Sasha Kaun, who had his finest performance of the season. Kaun injured his knee during the preseason and has been slow to round into form. The 6-11 junior finished with a season-high 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and had three of the team's nine blocks.

"At the beginning of the year, it slowed me down a little bit," Kaun said of the knee. "I am just trying to get better every day, but I would say I am 100 percent healthy."

With Rush and Kaun scoring 14 first-half points, the Jayhawks extended the lead to 35-13 en route to a 47-30 halftime advantage.

"The game plan was to give their big guys something to guard, but we got a couple of easy baskets early off of screen plays and then when Sasha had a two-to-three minute stretch where he kind of took over," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. "Then we were making a conscious effort to go inside because (Oklahoma State's Mario) Boggan had two fouls. He's a terrific player and we did a great job on him tonight and JamesOn (Curry) is a great player and we did a terrific job on him."

Boggan, the Cowboys' leading scorer who came in averaging 20.7 points, was held to a season-low eight on 4-of-16 shooting. Curry scored 12 points but hit just 3-of-8 shots.

"This victory was a statement," Rush said. "OSU broke the top 10 on Monday, and they are a great team. This was a statement game for us. We jumped on them early. They were warming up before the second half like the game was over. It looked like they didn't have any confidence."

Oklahoma State (15-2, 1-1), which had a four-game win streak snapped, briefly edged back into contention on a four-point play from Curry that sliced the deficit to 53-40 with 15:00 remaining.

The Jayhawks responded with a 16-5 run to go ahead, 69-45, and eventually built the lead to as many as 35 points.

Freshman Sherron Collins and Darnell Jackson scored 10 points apiece as Kansas shot 58 percent (34-of-59) and had 17 steals, including six by Mario Chalmers.

Kenny Cooper had 12 points and Terrel Harris 10 for the Cowboys, who shot 32 percent and turned the ball over 20 times.

"This is a loss that we have to take and get better from it," Curry said. "The two things that killed us were points off turnovers and transition points. It was a bad night for us, but they are also a great team."

    --- --- -----
    OKLAHOMA ST (10) 30 27 57
    KANSAS (6) 47 40 87 FINAL

    Jan 10 11:01 PM

    OKLAHOMA ST (10) 30

    Jan 10 10:02 PM
  • 45
    RUWTbot Added 45 roots

    Oklahoma State vs. KansasJan 10 9:05 PM