Oklahoma State had an upset within its grasp, but like the basketball, it slipped away.
The Cowboys, plagued by turnovers, gave the ball away one last time with 15 seconds remaining and No. 19 Kansas escaped Stillwater, Okla., with a 66-63 Big Eight victory Sunday.
"We had a stretch there where we had six possessions and turned the ball over five times, and it cost us the game," Oklahoma State Coach Leonard Hamilton said.
The final turnover came with just 15 seconds left when former Santa Monica High star Keith Harris of Kansas (9-4 overall, 2-0 in the Big Eight) stole an inbounds pass and was fouled. Harris, a freshman, made two free throws for the final points of the game.
Oklahoma State (4-10, 0-1) led, 63-60, and had a chance to add to its margin with 1:39 left, but guard Jay Davis missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation.
Baskets by Mark Turgeon and Cedrick Hunter, the latter with 36 seconds left, put Kansas ahead, 64-63.
After Harris converted his steal into the clinching free throws, Davis missed a three-point shot at the buzzer.
"The kids were a little down but I told them that this was a great win," Kansas Coach Larry Brown said. "We came from behind and had a lot of positive things happen late in the game.
"We committed a lot of turnovers and missed some free throws, but for our young players this was a good win. We really weren't afraid of them penetrating on us. What we were afraid of was (Todd) Christian getting hot, and he did."
Christian scored 24 points, including 15 in the second half.
Sylvester Kincheon, Oklahoma State's 6-10 center, scored 11 points in the first 8 1/2 minutes as the Cowboys kept pace with the Jayhawks. Oklahoma State led, 22-18, with 7:53 left in the first half after a 3-point shot by Christian. But Kansas, with freshman guard Kevin Pritchard scoring seven points, went on a 13-4 surge to build a 36-30 halftime lead.
Pritchard, who hit all four of his three-point attempts, finished with 18 points to lead Kansas. Hunter added 16 as Kansas star Danny Manning was held to 8 points, 13 below his average.
George Washington 90, St. Bonaventure 83--Brian Butler scored 20 points as the Colonials registered an Atlantic 10 Conference victory over the Bonnies at Washington.
The Colonials (5-8, 2-2) led by as many as 14 points while building a 41-33 halftime lead. Kenny Bare scored 12 of his 18 points in the half.
George Washington took its biggest lead, 61-45, with 10:08 to play, but St. Bonaventure (3-11, 1-4) went on an 18-7 run and closed to within 68-63. Albert Middleton and Richard McCormick each scored six points in the surge.
The Colonials, however, hit 9 of 11 free throws in the final six minutes. Gerald Jackson scored 18 and Joe Dooley added 14 for George Washington.
Patrick Allen scored 16 points for the Bonnies, McCormick and Middleton each had 15 points and Sam Graham contributed 10.
Jacksonville 65, South Florida 56--Danny Pearson had 20 points and 9 rebounds, and the Dolphins took advantage of 24 turnovers by the Bulls to win a Sunbelt Conference game at Jacksonville.
The Dolphins (8-5, 3-0) piled up a 16-point lead in the second half en route to their sixth straight victory, but South Florida (5-6, 2-1) pulled to within four points with 3:47 left.
Troy Mundine hit a 3-point shot and Jacksonville pulled away again.