Kansas forward Cliff Alexander enjoys dunking more than most college freshmen. He offered up his best finish of the season on Tuesday night against Oklahoma State.
With just under 14 minutes left in the first half, Alexander received the ball on the block and turned hard against Oklahoma State forward Le’Bryan Nash, who absorbed the hit and fell backward. There was no whistle, and that left only Oklahoma State 7-footer Anthony Allen to protect the basket. Alexander jumped and threw down an emphatic one-handed slam as Allen Fieldhouse erupted.
“Yeah,” Alexander said. “Best dunk all year.
Alexander, who finished with seven points and five rebounds, was handed a technical foul for flexing after the dunk. The technical drew the ire of coach Bill Self, though Alexander was slightly confused by the call.
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“I kind of was (surprised),” Alexander said. “I don’t know why it was a technical. I was talking to Frank (Mason).”
Alexander sat for most of the second half, picking up an early third foul and then playing behind sophomore Landen Lucas when juniors Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor got into the foul trouble. In normal situations, Self said, he would have gone back to Alexander. But Kansas was handling Oklahoma State just fine.
“Who was he going to come back in for?” Self said. “He had fouls and he would have come (back) in most situations, but our team actually played pretty good with Landen in the game, so there was no reason to take him out for a stretch.”
Key play: Kansas freshman Cliff Alexander caught the ball on the block, bullied his way past Le’Bryan Nash and threw down an emphatic dunk over Oklahoma State’s 7-foot center Anthony Allen. The Jayhawks led 12-9 with 13:50 left in the half.
Key stat: Oklahoma State’s Phil Forte had 16 points.
Key play: Kansas guard Frank Mason drained a three-pointer from the wing that gave the Jayhawks a 55-44 lead with less than 10 minutes to play. Finally, Kansas could relax.
Key stat: KU outrebounded Oklahoma State 43-25.