Oklahoma lost its first Big 12 home game to No. 18/21 Kansas State, 52-50, falling to 14-6 overall and 5-3 in conference play. Kansas State improved to 17-4 overall and to 6-2 in the league.
OU's 50 points were its fewest in 16 games and second fewest on the year (47 vs. Gonzaga on Nov. 23). Kansas State's 52 points tied as its fewest of the season.
"Tough game from start to finish, really physical time from the offensive end,” said Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger. “Kansas State did a great job; I thought they were into it and dictated for most of the night with their defense. We had trouble getting separation and trouble scoring. In the end I thought we really fought hard.”
Kansas State entered the game shooting a Big 12-best .459 from the field in conference play but was held to a .375 mark today. OU came into the contest ranked second (.453) but was limited to a .388 figure.
“They are hard to guard, especially in the second half when we were down by six or eight for much of it, but we kept going and kept going,” said Kruger. “We will grow from that, but we have to play harder, pick better and do things we need to do on the offensive end to get more separation and get better shots. Credit Kansas State; they were the better club and deserved to win."
OU converted just three 3-pointers on the day and they came from unlikely sources. Freshman Isaiah Cousins was 2-for-3 from long distance, his first two makes in Big 12 play. Senior Sam Grooms hit a trey with 55 seconds left to make the score 50-48 in favor of K-State. It was Grooms' first 3-pointer of the year on three attempts. Senior Steven Pledger was 0-for-3 from 3-point distance, just the third time this year he failed to connect from behind the arc.
"I thought on the defensive end we battled hard,” said Kruger. “We gave up a lot of points off our turnovers. And second shots. Otherwise we had them at half court. That has kind of been the nature of this group. If we take care of the ball and limit the second shots and take them to half court we have done okay, but they have to stop more than that."
Next for Oklahoma is a Monday road contest at Iowa State. The game will start at 6 p.m. and be televised by ESPNU.
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