STILLWATER — The special formula of a spectacular Myck Kabongo and an effective full-court press provided the most thrilling victory Texas’ disappointing season and the biggest comeback of Rick Barnes’ tenure.
Neither one could make an impact on the road at No. 15 Oklahoma State.
Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le’Bryan Nash added 16 and the Cowboys corralled Kabongo to beat Texas 78-65 on Saturday.
A showcase of two of the Big 12’s marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers against frequent double-teams while the Cowboys’ Marcus Smart had five.
Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo’s turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime. By the time it was over, the Cowboys were firmly in front at 47-33 after Nash drove through traffic for a right-handed slam.
No. 13 Kansas St. 64, Baylor 61: Rodney McGruder hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and 13th-ranked Kansas State pulled out a 64-61 victory Saturday night after a failed desperation inbound pass gave the Wildcats one more chance.
Instead of settling for overtime after K-State’s Shane Southwell missed badly with 1 second left, the Bears (17-12, 8-8 Big 12) brought seldom-used Jacob Neubert off the bench to try a length-of-the-court inbound pass.
But the ball went out of bounds without being touched, so the Wildcats got it under their own basket with the second still on the clock.
After a timeout, Angel Rodriguez inbounded to McGruder on the right wing.
McGruder had 18 points to lead Kansas State (24-5, 13-3), which won its fifth straight to maintain a share of the Big 12 lead with sixth-ranked Kansas with two regular season games left.
No. 6 Kansas 91, West Virginia 65: Ben McLemore scored a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, and Jeff Withey came within one block of a triple-double as the sixth-ranked Jayhawks beat West Virginia on Saturday.
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.