KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The starting five for Kansas kept pressuring Oregon State on defense, creating easy opportunities on offense and insisting to coach Bill Self that they weren’t tired.
So he left them in. Nearly the entire second half.
Wayne Selden responded by scoring 22 points, Frank Mason had 18 and the second-ranked Jayhawks rolled after the break to an 82-67 victory over the Beavers on Saturday night at Sprint Center.
Perry Ellis added 13 points and Devonte Graham had 10 for the Jayhawks (8-1), who trailed by as many as 14 in the first half before outscoring the Beavers 25-9 to begin the second.
”The more that we fell behind, it seemed like the more energy we lost, and subbing didn’t do anything for us,” Self said. ”I planned on playing everybody again (in the second half), but we got on a roll, we got going good. And nobody said they were tired so I didn’t see a reason to sub.”
The starters, along with lone sub Carlton Bragg, kept drawing away to help Kansas improve to 28-6 at the downtown Kansas City arena, where it has won four Big 12 tournament titles.
”You saw the best and worst of Kansas,” Self said. ”That’s the worst we played all year in the first half, and they played a lot better than us. And the second half, that’s the best we played.”
Tres Tinkle hit five 3-pointers and scored 20 points for Oregon State (6-2), which was trying to equal its best start since the 1980-81 season. Gary Payton II scored 13 and Jarmal Reid added 11.
”We knew we came out the second half flat,” Payton said. ”When they made runs the first half, we stayed calm, composed. In the second half we got out of character.”
Tinkle, who had been 3 for 15 from beyond the arc this season, hit his first 3-pointer with 14:12 left to give his team a 14-9 advantage. Then, the coach’s son proceeded to hit his next four more.
Altogether, the Beavers made their first seven from beyond the arc, their hot shooting the biggest reason why Wayne Tinkle’s bunch enjoyed a double-digit lead most of the first half.
Things weren’t nearly as chipper on the Kansas bench.
With the Beavers leading 22-9 midway through the half, Self grew so enraged that he slammed his right fist into his left hand, sending his pricey wristwatch flying off.
Self must have transferred some of that fire to his team at halftime.
Beginning with two free throws by Ellis, the Jayhawks slowly began to build momentum, chewing into a 39-28 deficit. But it was still 48-41 when Graham made back-to-back baskets, starting a 14-0 run that brought actor and noted Kansas fan Rob Riggle to his feet and gave the Jayhawks the lead.
Things unraveled so quickly for the Beavers that they burned through three timeouts in 54 seconds – one when they couldn’t inbound the ball – and were left with none the final 14:03 of the game.
”It was a hell of a deal we were out there facing the second half,” Wayne Tinkle said, ”and we saw who responded positively and, unfortunately, who responded negatively.”
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks stuck with their starting lineup for much of the half. It was a clear departure from the frequent substitutions that Self made in the first half, and allowed the same group of players to get into a rhythm for the first time all night.
”The way we were playing, it really wasn’t a reason for him to sub – we were playing with so much energy,” Graham said. ”He kept asking us if we were tired and we kept saying, `No!”’
SEPARATING BIG MEN
Self said his biggest challenge right now is deciding which post players to play. Bragg and Hunter Mickelson got the majority of the minutes against the Beavers.
Oregon State: Tinkle missed his only 3-point try in the second half. … After hitting their first seven 3-pointers, the Beavers were 1 of 9 the rest of the way. … Oregon State committed 18 turnovers that the Jayhawks turned into 19 points.
Kansas: Mason also had six assists. … The Jayhawks shot 66 percent from the field in the second half. … F Landen Lucas (toe) participated in warmups but did not play. F Jamari Traylor (ankle) played two minutes in the first half.
Oregon State plays Cal State Fullerton in the Far West Classic on Friday night.
Kansas gets the week off for finals before playing Montana next Saturday.