In the opening half, the Oklahoma Sooners dictated the pace of the game. Moving up-and-down the court against a Kansas St. Wildcats team struggling offensively played into Lon Kruger's game plan. However, the unlikely happened as K-State connected on five consecutive attempts from beyond the arc to take a commanding lead. Eventually hitting four free throws to stave off their opponent, KSU defended home court with a 72-66 victory while showcasing the toughness of the conference.
Ryan Spangler had a career night to keep Oklahoma in this game as they found success in the paint. Behind 21 points and 14 rebounds, this youngster added to his league leading double-double outings currently at seven. Creating turnovers, this Sooner team found 20 points to go along side 12 second chance points to keep this one close. Trailing 39-38 at the half, Cameron Clark had an off night while Kruger made the executive decision to move into a zone defense.
The zone defense apparently made it tough all night for OU to rebound out of. For the fourth time this season, the Sooners were out-rebounded 42-38, and for the fourth time Oklahoma suffered a loss. Yet, it doesn't explain the disappearance of Jordan Woodard or the lack of 3-point attempts from Frank Booker in the second half.
Credit Bruce Weber and his squad for getting into a rhythm. Marcus Foster, one of the conference's best freshmen, and Shane Southwell combined for 34 points. But, Nino Williams may have been the surprise performer coming off the bench. After spending a majority of the season on the bench, Williams came out with a confidence some Kansas St. fans had expected from him. On the night, he collect 10 points while pulling down 9 boards to help his team in the effort.
With the game on the line, Williams found himself in the spotlight and at the charity stripe. Knocking down all four attempts late all but sealed the deal for him and his teammates as KSU improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in conference.
The Oklahoma Sooners won't get much of a break as the Baylor Bears are next up on the schedule.