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Eaton, Oklahoma State shock No. 5 Kansas

Feb 24, 2008 - 4:01 AM STILLWATER, Oklahoma (Ticker) -- Byron Eaton's big effort from the free-throw line got Oklahoma State another big win against the nation's best.

Eaton split a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left as Oklahoma State held on for a 61-60 victory over fifth-ranked Kansas in the Big 12 Conference on Saturday.

Eaton finished with a career-high 26 points for the Cowboys (14-12, 5-7 Big 12), who posted back-to-back wins against teams in the Top 25 after beginning the season 0-5.

"It was a great game to be apart of," Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton said. "I thought both teams really competed hard and played outstanding defense at both ends of the court. I'm really proud of our guys the way that they fought from start to finish."

Last Saturday, Oklahoma State snapped a 19-game road losing streak in the Big 12 with a 59-54 victory over No. 16 Texas A&M.

After losing six straight games in league play spanning January and February, the Cowboys have won four of their last five games - a winning streak that is getting Sutton noticed.

"That's the sign of a good coach is when things aren't going well and the team starts playing better, especially late in the season," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "A lot of times it's tough to get a team back in when things aren't going well. He's obviously doing a good job."

Leading by as many as nine points midway through the second half, Oklahoma State saw Kansas tie the contest at 60-60 on a layup by Darnell Jackson with 35 seconds left. Eaton attempted to answer, but was fouled on a shot by the Jayhawks' Sasha Kaun with 12 seconds to play.

Capping a 16-of-18 effort from the stripe, Eaton made the first attempt before missing the second.

"I got to the free-throw line and hit the one that closed out the game," Eaton said. "We did a great job tonight. We just have to keep working. We need to put this behind us and come back ready to work for Missouri tomorrow."

Despite the slim lead, Oklahoma State made things very difficult for Kansas in the closing moments, as Mario Chalmers was forced to commit a shaky pass after his drive down the left side of the lane was blocked.

Setting up for a 3-point attempt in the left corner, Brandon Rush saved the pass from going out of bounds and fumbled the ball before having to wait for a defender to jump past him.

Scoring all 12 of his points in the second half, Rush's shot from the arc hit the side of the rim before the buzzer sounded, sending the Cowboys' fans onto the court.

The awkward final sequence for the Jayhawks summed up the effect that the Cowboys' tough defense had on them throughout the contest, limiting Kansas to 2-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers and forcing 21 turnovers.

"I thought they played good defense and better offense than us," Self said. "But we stunk, and you can credit that to OSU and a large part of that to the crowd. We didn't play with much poise."

"I just told everybody before the game and at halftime to play defense," Eaton said. "We needed a tremendous effort on the defensive end."

Obi Muonelo scored 12 points and freshman James Anderson added seven for Oklahoma State, which beat Kansas for just the fifth time in the last 17 meetings.

Behind a 10-of-10 effort from the line by Eaton in the first half, the Cowboys held a 36-32 advantage at the half.

Although the Jayhawks closed within a point with nearly four minutes expired, the Cowboys responded with a 10-2 run for a 46-37 advantage. Muonelo capped the spurt with a 3-pointer with 13:19 to play.

Kansas then began to chip away, closing within 50-48 on a basket from the arc by Chalmers with 6:40 remaining.

However, the Jayhawks could not pull even until Rush's 3-pointer made it 54-54 with 5:11 left. It was the start of a 7-0 run that Rush also capped on a jumper for a 58-54 edge with 3:25 remaining.

Oklahoma State, which was looking for its third straight win at home, would not go away, answering back with a 6-0 run to pull ahead, 60-58, on a 3-pointer by Marcus Dove with 58 seconds to go.

During that burst, Eaton missed his first free throw after making 14 straight to start the game. Overall, the junior guard's 16 free throws were the most by a Cowboy since Rick Anderson made 17 against Kansas on February 6, 1985.

Jackson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks (24-3, 9-3), who lost for the third time in their last four conference road games.

Chalmers finished with 11 points for Kansas, which dropped a game behind Texas atop the league standings.