Men's basketball: Kansas State's defense smothers Sooners
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
Senior guard Sam Grooms’ buzzer-beating three-pointer fell short, and the OU men’s basketball team was unable to avenge its earlier loss to Kansas State, losing 52-50 at Lloyd Noble Center.
After trailing 50-42 with 2:51 left, the Sooners made a furious comeback to tie the game at 50 on Grooms’ layup with 13 seconds remaining.
They failed to take the lead, however, as Kansas State’s sophomore guard Angel Rodriguez scored the winning points on two free throws with five seconds left.
“Angel read it, got to the bucket and was fortunate to get the foul and hit the free throws,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “We got a real good road win. It keeps us up in the top part of the league.”
Before the flurry of points in the last part of the second half, both teams — but mostly the Sooners — had an extremely difficult time scoring the basketball.
OU was held without a point for the last 6:27 of the first half. The team had nine straight possessions end without points.
The futility didn’t end at halftime, either. After the break, the Sooners still didn’t score for the first 4:57 of the second half, a total of 11 minutes and 24 seconds without scoring a single point.
“You can’t really dwell on it,” senior forward Romero Osby said. “You have to get a stop and then go at them again on the offensive end. We had a lot of opportunities and a lot of shots didn’t fall.
“Credit Kansas State, they’re a really good team, and they did a good job defensively.”
The Wildcats frustrated the Sooners all game, as exemplified by the play of junior guard Will Spradling.
Spradling didn’t have a dominant game, statistically — finishing with 12 points and three rebounds — but he always seemed to have a timely bucket whenever OU was threatening.
None of the Sooners had a particularly good night offensively, but Osby did his best to keep them in the game.
He finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, but only shot a pedestrian 5-for-12 from the field.
The game was a battle from start to finish, but in the end, Kansas State was able to make the plays that mattered and pick up a key Big 12 road win.
“We’ll grow from this," coach Lon Kruger said. "We have to cut harder and pick better and get better shots, but credit Kansas State, they were the better club and deserved to win.”