KSU falls to OU for a 1-3 start to Big 12 play

14 Jan

The Wildcats’ second Big 12 road game of the season went nearly as badly as its first one. Facing an Oklahoma team led by former Kansas State coach Lon Kruger, the No. 18 Wildcats fell 82-73 in Norman and dropped to 1-3 in conference play this season.

The Sooners shot 55 percent from the floor – including 70 percent in the second half – and led the Wildcats the entire game.

Oklahoma burst out of the gate with a 7-0 run before Kansas State got on the board with an old-fashioned three-point play from Thomas Gipson.

An 11-2 flurry by the Sooners gave them a 10-point advantage, 18-8, before the Wildcats – and reserve sharpshooter Jeremy Jones, particularly – put together a 10-2 run of their own to get within two points, 18-20. From that point on, though, Kansas State could not get stops on defense. They did not score consecutive baskets for the rest of the half, and the Sooners led 38-29 at halftime.

Throughout the first 20 minutes, Kansas State shot 33 percent from the floor, while Oklahoma shot 45 percent. Maybe most gruesomely, the Wildcats were on pace to have as many turnovers as they did last game – 20. They would end up with 19.

The Wildcats received major contributions off the bench from Jeremy Jones and Nino Williams, who each added 12 points. Williams also corralled 9 rebounds, which played a major role in setting up Kansas State to get 25 second chance points in the game.

After the break, the Wildcats muddled along in much the same manner as they did in the second half. With 8:27 to go, they went on a 10-0 run to cut Oklahoma’s 18-point lead to 8, but between turning the ball over and rotating late on defense, they could never get within less than seven points in the second half. While Kansas State battled throughout the game, the combination of its mistakes and the Sooners’ spot-on shooting made it a rough afternoon for the Wildcats.

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