NORMAN — If there’s any doubt what impact forward Ryan Spangler has for Oklahoma, it was laid to rest early Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center. He was a nuisance No. 9 Iowa State simply couldn’t swat away in the Sooners’ 87-82 victory over the Cyclones.
How annoying was Spangler to the Cyclones Saturday? How often does a team shoot 52.3 percent on the road — and lose?
“We got our butts kicked on the glass,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “That’s the bottom line.”
The Sooners (13-3, 2-1 Big 12) only shot 40.6 percent Saturday afternoon. However, they were 13 for 30 from 3-point range. It helped a lot.
Being able to shoot until it made it also helped. That’s where Spangler came in. He grabbed a career high 15 rebounds to go along with 16 points. It was his sixth double-double of the season. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive end. Those offensive boards were the difference.
“I thought in the second half Ryan just really took over the game and did some great things offensively, rebounded the ball like crazy,” OU coach Lon Kruger said.
The win was a big one for the Sooners. The Cyclones (14-1, 2-1) were the Big 12’s last undefeated team. It’s still the middle of January, but the Sooners now have a big win to put on their NCAA tournament resume.
OU had a chance to get one last Wednesday against No. 18 Kansas. Spangler, however, picked up two early fouls and wasn’t much of a factor in the 90-83 loss. He was limited to 23 minutes. Fouls were not a problem Saturday against the Cyclones. Spangler was on the floor for 33 minutes.
“I just needed to be smart,” Spangler said. “You’re going to have games like that (against Kansas) where you get into foul trouble,” he said, “but I just needed to keep my head up better than I did in the last game. Every game is a new game and you just have to come out with the same approach.”