Nice Numbers: KSU vs. OSU

21 Jan

With its first Big 12 road win of the season, Kansas State broke the streak. It won in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the first time since January of 1993. The Wildcats led for most of the game, but as coach Frank Martin had pointed out a few days earlier, the team historically had trouble closing out games in Stillwater. Indeed, Cowboys guard Keiton Page slashed the deficit to three with just minutes to play, but Kansas State prevailed. Looking at the stat sheet, there are a few big reasons why.

  • Remember the game before this? The Wildcats missed 7 of 10 free throw attempts in the last 1:14 of the game against Texas and still won. The players must have known that would not fly today. While Kansas State’s free throw percentage overall was still quite unseemly (57.5), many of the misses came in the first half, when the Wildcats converted on just 4 of 14 tries (29 percent). Fortunately, though, and to their credit, they really tuned in after the break and made 19 of 26 in the second half (73 percent). This held Oklahoma State at bay and allowed the Wildcats to finally finish on top in Stillwater.
  • Another huge factor was rebounding. Kansas State outrebounded Baylor nearly as dramatically as Kansas outrebounded Kansas State earlier this season. The Wildcats snagged 50 boards – including 22 offensive rebounds – compared to 29 by the Cowboys. That translated directly to 18 second chance points for the Wildcats and just four for the Cowboys. Jamar Samuels and Adrian Diaz were huge in that regard, with 12 and 9 rebounds, respectively.
  • I would guess that Frank Martin has said this already by now, but this was really a great defensive effort by the Wildcats. Page, the Cowboys’ leading scorer, finished with 17 points, but it took him 17 shot attempts to get there. Le’Bryan Nash, who was averaging 13 points per game, ended up with only 4. Kansas State just did a terrific job applying pressure.
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