K-State Beats No. 25 Oklahoma 72-66

By: Dave Skretta, AP Sports Writer
By: Dave Skretta, AP Sports Writer

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Marcus Foster scored 18 points, Nino Williams made four clinching free throws in the closing seconds and Kansas State held on to beat No. 25 Oklahoma 72-66 on Tuesday night.

Shane Southwell added 16 points for the Wildcats (13-4, 3-1 Big 12), who rallied from a 62-56 deficit with just over 5 minutes to play to turn back the streaking Sooners.

Ryan Spangler had a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Buddy Hield scored 12 points for Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2), but it wasn't enough to offset a lousy night by Cameron Clark.

The Big 12's leading scorer, Clark was held to two points on 1-for-9 shooting. He was stripped of the ball with 24.5 seconds left and the Sooners trailing 67-64.

The turnover forced Oklahoma to foul, and Williams made both free throws. Je'lon Hornbeak missed a 3-pointer at the other end and the Sooners fouled Williams, and again he knocked down both foul shots to help seal the game.

Wesley Iwundu added 11 points for Kansas State while Williams and Will Spradling finished with 10 points apiece.

The Sooners, the highest scoring team in the Big 12, got the up-and-down game they wanted in the first half. The only problem was that Kansas State, which tends to struggle offensively but is the league's best on defense, was knocking down shots from all over the court.

The Wildcats hit 3-pointers on five straight trips midway through the first half. Foster had the first three, thumping his chest on his way back to the bench after the last of them.

Kansas State eventually pushed its lead to 28-19 on Iwundu's 3-pointer before the Sooners started to find some success in the paint. Isaiah Cousins' driving layup started an 18-5 run over the next 7 minutes, capped by Hield's basket for a 37-33 lead.

The Wildcats answered with a 3 by Southwell, and Spradling was fouled just before the halftime buzzer and made three free throws to give Kansas State a 39-38 lead.

Oklahoma slowly took control in the second half as the Wildcats cooled off. Spangler's three-point play with 6{ minutes left gave the Sooners a 58-56 lead, and a breezy jumper by Cousins from just inside the 3-point arc extended the lead with about 5 minutes to play.

Once more, Kansas State clawed right back.

Big man Thomas Gipson stuck back a miss by Southwell for his first field goal with 2:59 left in the game to knot it 63-all. Foster then buried a 3-pointer from right in front of Kansas State coach Bruce Weber to give the Wildcats a 66-63 lead.

They managed to hold onto the lead through a tense closing stretch.


K-State release:

Miscellaneous Notes

· K-State is now 1,543-1,081 all-time in its history.

· Head coach Bruce Weber is now 353-167 in his career and 40-12 in his second season at K-State.

· Today’s match-up marked the 198th meeting between the two schools… With the win, the Wildcats improve to 94-104 against the Sooners… K-State is 3-0 under Bruce Weber, with K-State winning both match ups last season.

· K-State is now against Oklahoma 57-36 in home games, including an 11-3 mark at Bramlage.

· The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of freshman guard Marcus Foster, senior guard Will Spradling, senior guard Shane Southwell, freshman forward Wesley Iwundu and junior forward Thomas Gipson… This is the 12th time K-State has used this starting lineup this season and the they are 11-1 this season with this starting five.

Team Notes

· K-State had five players in double digits for the first time this season. The players were Marcus Foster (18), Shane Southwell (16), Wesley Iwundu (11), Will Spradling (10), and Nino Williams (10).

· K-State is now 24-1 under Weber when scoring 70 or more points, including 9-0 this season.

· The team connected on 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field, including a season high 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from 3-point range.

· K-State continued their efficient offense, dishing out 16 assists on 21 made field goals – the Wildcats lead the Big 12 in Assist to Baskets success rate at 63 percent.

· The Wildcats out-rebounded Oklahoma, 42-38… K-State has won the battle on the boards against their opponents 12 of the last 13 games… The Wildcats are 12-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponents this season.

· Coming into the game, Oklahoma was averaging 87 points per game… K-State’s defense held the Sooners to 66 points… This is the second lowest scoring output by Oklahoma this season, - the lowest was 64 points against Texas A&M on Dec. 21, 2013.

· Despite winning the battle on the boards, the Wildcats were outscored in the paint 26-14… The Wildcats also were on the wrong end of a 19-5 advantage for the Sooners in second chance points.

· K-State was 19-of-28 (67.9%) from the charity stripe… This is the fifth straight game that the Wildcats have shot 60 percent from the free throw line.

Individual Notes

· Marcus Foster led all K-State scorers with 18 points… The freshman shot 4-of-8 from three point range, with two back-to-back threes in the first half… The double-digit output is Foster’s 14th double-digit scoring game this season.

· Shane Southwell scored 16 points in the game with eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals.

· Wesley Iwundu was perfect from the three-point arc (3-of-3)… He added 11 points and six rebounds.

· Junior forward Nino Williams provided a spark off the bench… The junior had 10 points and nine rebounds on the game…Williams was also a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber

Opening statement…
“Obviously, it is a great win for us, a Top-25 win. Not only are they in the Top 25 in polls but also in the RPI. They are one of the top offensive teams in the country and we held them to 66 points with 33-percent on field goals. We did some things well but they killed us on the boards. We went small with Thomas (Gipson) in some foul trouble. D.J. (Johnson) was solid for us - he had three blocks -and Nino (Williams) has been good. We saw that we could play a little smaller and Nino came up big with 10 points and nine rebounds. Shane (Southwell) had 16 points and eight rebounds, which was one of his better rebounding games of the year. Obviously, the gut-check part of the game was when the freshman really stepped. Wesley (Iwandu) hit that big three from the corner. Shane put up a shot at the end of the shot clock, Thomas got the rebound and Marcus (Foster) hit a big shot. Wesley got two big offensive rebounds off of free throws and there were a lot of little plays like that, but I think the biggest thing is that we stopped them. We got 12 of the last 14 rebounds and they were killing us on the boards. I told the coaches that we just had to back up a little bit because they were killing us on penetration and clipping us on the high ball screens. We were helping, helping, helping and they switched everything. Kansas did a little bit of the same stuff, so we are going to have to learn how to adjust. We are going to have to learn how to play against that. Thomas has been our rock-solid guy and he probably had one of his worst games. He never really got going, so we pretty much did it without our inside threat. I told the team OU is a team of runs 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 is a great win but we have to move on to Saturday, but somewhere along the line we have to get better.”

On the play of Shane Southwell and Nino Williams …
“Shane has kind of struggled a few games in a row, so it was great for him. Not only did he make some shots but he also had one of his best rebounding games. He made his free throws and he is just feeling a little more comfortable. With Nino, five out of the last six he has been very important for us. He is just doing what he can do. He is staying out of foul trouble which allows him to stay in the game. The question is how we can play Shane and Nino together which Nino keeps bringing it up. We did it a little bit against Kansas but some of it is just matchups. We did it tonight because they were a little smaller.”

On the play of the freshmen…
“I thought the key before the game was to get the ball into him so he score because I thought that would be a big advantage we would have, I guess I was way off with that. The threes were really important as were the stops down the stretch. It is a good win. Tomorrow we will go to Fort Riley for a little field trip. We will relax and then come back on Thursday, practice and get ready for West Virginia. We will have the same routine for the next couple of weeks but it is important that our older guys keep the attention of the younger guys, keep them energized and motivated if were are going to have success over the next couple weeks.”

On the toughness of Marcus Foster…
“He had 18 points and five assist even though he had a couple of turnovers. He had a bad game against Kansas but you have to give him credit for bouncing back. At Kansas he struggled, he dislocated his finger and I did not want to say anything about it, but he did get it hit one time and had to come out but he is tough. He seems to get hurt every day in practice. I think he is dying and I turn my head and he is back in there. He is very determined and very mature. I have said this since the beginning, he is the most mature I have been around. He really wants to do well and he has become pretty good defensively. Not only is he scoring but he is playing well on both ends of the floor, and that says a lot for a freshman.”

Senior Forward Shane Southwell
On guarding the conference’s leader scorer, Cameron Clark…
“I just wanted to stay active. I have known him for a really long time and he is a good player and a much-improved player. I just wanted to go out there and challenge every shot because he takes a lot of mid-range jump shots. He creates a lot of space with step backs and crossovers and things of that nature. He is a little bit like myself, only he scores a lot more. I just wanted to get a hand in his face on every shot attempt.”

On guarding the conference’s leader scorer, Cameron Clark…
“We needed it, I do not know what else to say. We just got in the huddle and just said we needed to get stops and we need to execute. Wesley hit a big three. When we miss shots, we have to get the rebounds because (Ryan) Spangler was killing us on the glass, so that was the big thing today.”

Junior Forward Nino Williams
On his success over the past six games…
“I do not think much has changed. In November, coach Weber talked to me and told me to stay positive. He told me to just be confident because the team needs me. He told me I needed to play hard, so that is what I tried to do.”

On his confidence level late in games…
“I am just a confident person. I just think the last five minutes of the game are like the first five minutes. I just relax, go through my routine, relax and take the shot.”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On the grind of college basketball …
“It hard because I am in treatment three times a day and I am taking care of two things at one time with my ankle and my finger. It is just a part of basketball, sometimes you are going to get bumped around and hurt. I am just taking it day by day and getting better every day.”

On his impact so far this season …
“I did not think that I would have had this kind of impact coming in or improving as much as I am improving every day. This is what I came here for. I knew coach Weber, coach Lowery and the rest of the coaches would make me better and they are getting me better every game and I am improving against whatever defense a team is throwing at me.”

Freshman Forward Wesley Iwundu
On his success against Oklahoma…
“I have been kind of absent for the past couple of games, so I had a talk with coach and he said to calm down and let the game come to me. I just tried not to force anything.”

On his success from beyond the arc against Oklahoma…
“It is definitely a confidence booster. It is not something that I am going to look for now but it is something that I am going to continue to work on and get better at.”

Oklahoma Head Coach Lon Kruger
Opening Statement…
“It was a tough game. I thought down the stretch, K-State did some good things. They made shots when they needed to, got loose balls, and got second chance opportunities. We did not convert on our end. It was just a tough game. When you play games on the road you have to win them. Bruce did a terrific job. They do what they need to do to win the game. They are a tough group, and we know how tough it is to go on the road and win a tough game.”

On offense in the last six minutes…
“We had a couple of looks that did not go. They made shots, and we did not. Sometimes it just comes down to that. It was not a case of turnovers necessarily. I thought we had some decent looks that we did not convert. There are just possessions that you have to convert. You cannot do that down the stretch on the road.”

On the play of Wesley Iwundu…

“Iwundu hit that big three which cut the lead to three and that gave him some life to come back into the game. After that, Foster made a real tough shot at the free throw line. He is capable of doing that. He is a good player. Iwundu’s three was big because it got them back into the game.”

On the second half…

“We got better. We made some progress defensively. The first half they had a lot of looks they knocked down. The second half I thought we did a lot better defensively. We did a good job of limiting their second chance opportunities. The offensive boards hurt us, and they got loose balls all night long.”

Sophomore Forward Ryan Spangler
On inside play…
“It got physical. We were not hitting shots that we normally hit outside so Coach Kruger put in an offense to get us going inside. I got some easy looks just battling in there.”

On K-State defending Oklahoma…
“I think anyone on our team can score. We are all pretty good at that. We are just going to have to have other people step up if someone is having a rough. We just did not do it well enough tonight.”


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