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Dick Scores 26 Points as No. 5 Kansas Beats Oklahoma State 87-76

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STILLWATER, Okla — Kansas guard Gradey Dick was the main target of taunts from raucous Oklahoma State fans Tuesday night.

His outdoor shots calmed the crowd. The freshman scored 17 of his season-high 26 points in the second half as the fifth-ranked Jayhawks cruised to an 87-76 victory over the Cowboys.

Dick said Oklahoma State fans energized him.

“I love it,” she said. “I love it. I kind of like being, you know, the hated one that comes in[visiting arenas]. And they were doing their little chants. But it sure fuels the fire, for sure.

Dick made 10 of 17 field goal attempts, shooting 4 of 9 with 3 points. And his performance allowed Kansas to get away with some night out for the Big 12 leading scorer. Jalen Wilson had 14 points, nearly seven under his average in comings.

Wilson said Dick’s production was outstanding, especially for a freshman.

“He did great,” Wilson said. “You guys have seen all year, he has no conscience when it comes to shooting the ball and that’s what makes a great shooter. Every time he shoots the ball, we think he’s going in just like he thinks he’s going in.”

Kansas shot 66% from the field in the second half to walk away from the Cowboys. Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense, but the Cowboys couldn’t figure out the Jayhawks.

“We have to defend better,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “We are a better defensive team than we showed. We just didn’t have our fastball tonight and our curveball wasn’t good enough.

Kansas (21-5, 9-4 Big 12) went on a three-game hitting streak. The Jayhawks are tied with Texas and Baylor at the top of the conference standings.

Kalib Boone had a career-high 27 points, John-Michael Wright had 18 and Bryce Thompson added 17 for Oklahoma State (16-10, 7-6).

Oklahoma State had been on a five-game hitting streak, including wins over ranked opponents TCU and Iowa State. The Cowboys were cruising to a 64-56 victory at then No. 11 State of Iowa.

But the Cowboys were again without senior guard Avery Anderson III, who sat out after undergoing surgery on his left wrist.

Thompson turned on the Jayhawks early. The guard, who played at Kansas for a year before moving to Oklahoma State, scored 14 points in the first 11 minutes to help the Cowboys take a 23-18 lead.

Kansas held on, and Dick’s 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer gave the Jayhawks a 39-37 halftime lead.

“Obviously, it was a great show, kind of a communication breakdown for us,” Boynton said. “I think we had a bungle in our defensive calls there and that should never happen. A guy who shoots that well is obviously pretty close to the top of the scouting report.

Dick scored eight points in the first two minutes of the second half to help Kansas take a 52–44 lead, and the Jayhawks led by at least five the rest of the way.

Now, the state of Oklahoma will try to regain its position.

“You can’t go too low,” Boynton said. “There are still many games to play, many to play with a solid position. We just have to get back to work.”

Kansas: The Jayhawks completed consecutive road victories in Oklahoma against teams that had big home field victories. The Jayhawks beat Oklahoma on Saturday.

Oklahoma State: While this loss won’t hurt perception of the Cowboys, they have three more regular season games against ranked opponents, so every opportunity is paramount.

Boone was shooting 10 for 15 and grabbed nine rebounds. He scored 25 points three games ago against TCU, then fell to nine against Texas Tech and eight against Iowa State before Tuesday’s big performance.

Boynton on his team’s effort: “I didn’t think that as a team we would necessarily go through the moment collectively in a way that would give us the best chance of winning.”

Kansas: Host No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.

Oklahoma State: Saturday Visits No. 22 TCUs.

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

Other AP college basketball: e

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