Kansas State overcame an eight-point Oklahoma lead late in the game with a 16-4 run of its own to put away the high-scoring Sooners and caoture a 72-66 victory Tuesday in front of the purple-clad home crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Big 12’s best defensive team held Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2) 20 points under their season scoring average and 33 percent shooting for the game. OU managed just two field goals in the final six minutes of the game. The game was played at the pace Kansas State likes to play: a low-scoring ball-control game. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 59 points per game.
Kansas State’s leading scorer on the season, freshman Marcus Foster had 18 points for the night and teammate Shane Southwell added 16 more. Ryan Spangler had 21 points for the Sooners, a career high, and also gathered 14 rebounds (he had 15 rebounds in Oklahoma’s last game).
Oklahoma trailed the Wildcats for much of the game, but had managed to pull ahead by six points, 62-56 , with about five minutes to go in the game. That’s when K-State mounted its late charge. Junior forward Nino Williams sealed the deal for the Wildcats with four clutch free throws with under a minute remaining.
Kansas State has now won 11 of its last 12 games and increased its Big 12 record to 3-1.
Said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger after the game: “They (Kansas State) made shots when they needed to. They got loose balls and got second-chance opportunities. When you’re in a position to have a chance to win on the road (referring to OU’s six-point lead with just over five minutes to go in the game), you like to go ahead and finish it. They made shots and we didn’t. Sometimes it just comes down to that.”
“I told the team, OU is a team of runs,” said Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, “but we were fortunate enough to make the run at the end of the game and find a way to win. That is what you have to do to find a win in this conference. It’s a great win for us, a top-25 win.”
K-State will get another chance against a top-25 team when No. 8 Iowa State comes to Manhattan on Saturday.
A few more quick-hitters from this game you might be interested to know:
- Kansas State entered the game averaging 5.5 made three-point shots per game. The Cats hit 11 of 21 Tuesday night vs. the Sooners. K-State hit three-point shots on five consecutive possessions in the first half.
- Oklahoma’s 33-percent shooting performance against Kansas State was its worst shooting game of the year. The Sooners had been below 40 percent just one other time in 17 games.
- OU’s Cameron Clark leads the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 18 points per game. On Tuesday night, however, the senior Sooner swingman was held to just one field goal on one-for-nine shooting.
- Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger is now 2-3 in games against his alma mater. Kruger played at Kansas State in the early 1970s and was the head coach of the Wildcats from 1986-90.
- Five Kansas State players scored in double figures against Oklahoma (Marcus Foster 18, Shane Southwell 16, Wesley Iwundu 11, Will Spradling 11, Nino William 10).
- K-State outrebounded the Sooners 42-38. The Wildcats are 12-1 this season when outrebounding their opponents.
- The Wildcats made 11 of 21 three-point shots on Tuesday night. That was their best three-point-shooting night of the season, percentage-wise (52.4).
- Kansas State got the best of the Sooners on the board, but lost the battle in the paint. Oklahoma outscored the Wildcats 26-14 in the paint. The Sooners also had a 19-5 advantage over the Wildcats in second-chance points.