LAWRENCE, Kan. — Markel Brown let out a roar. Marcus Smart did a cart-wheel and a back flip.
Travis Ford exhaled for the first time all game.
After establishing a big first-half lead, Oklahoma State watched it all melt away Saturday. But in one of the rare instances of a team refusing to lose at intimidating Allen Fieldhouse, Brown and Smart managed to hold things together down the stretch against second-ranked Kansas.
Together, they helped the Cowboys pull out an 85-80 victory that ended the Jayhawks’ nation-leading 18-game winning streak — and their 33-game streak at the Phog, too.
“We just beat one of the top teams in the country, and a great team at that,” said Smart, who had seven of his 25 points in the closing minutes. “It’s hard for teams to come into their home court and get a victory. We’re one of the few teams that have done it. We couldn’t believe it.”
That may account for his impromptu gymnastics.
“I was so ecstatic about the victory,” the freshman said, “it just came to me to do it.”
Brown finished with 28 points for the Cowboys (15-5, 5-3 Big 12), who hadn’t beaten a top-5 team on the road since knocking off the Jayhawks on Jan. 2, 1958.
Oklahoma State stunned the Jayhawks by building a 14-point lead in the first half, but Kansas had pulled ahead 64-60 on a 3-pointer by Naadir Tharpe midway through the second half.
The Jayhawks still led by six when Phil Forte hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 4:15 left to begin a 13-2 charge, allowing Oklahoma State to seize control.
The Cowboys’ stretched the lead to 77-69 with 50 seconds remaining, but the Jayhawks (19-2, 7-1) managed to play savvy defense and take advantage of a couple missed free throws. Andrew White III’s 3-pointer made it 78-75, and his free throw made it 78-76 with 36 seconds left in the game.