MANHATTAN, Kan. — Oklahoma discovered some things at Kansas State Tuesday night. That it can defend at a much higher level than it has been was the main one.
Ultimately it didn’t find the one thing that had carried it all season — the ability to score. OU quit doing it in the final five minutes and fell to the Wildcats, 72-66, at Bramlage Coliseum.
“When you get one in position where you have a chance to win on the road, you’d like to go ahead and finish it. Not quite ready to do that I guess,” OU coach Lon Kruger said.
The fact the Sooners
were in position to win with less than six minutes left was the stunner on a night when leading scorer Cameron Clark was held to two points. Jordan Woodard only had five and spent most of the second half on the bench and the Sooners only connected on 22 of 66 attempts on the night seemed more like a formula for a blowout loss.
Ryan Spangler kept OU in the game for a long time. The sophomore forward posted another double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
It was his two free throws with 5:37 left that gave the Sooners a 62-56 lead. At that point, there was every indication the 25th-ranked Sooners (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) were going to grab a second tough conference road win in as many tries.
They hung around despite the Wildcats — the Big 12’s most offensively challenged team shooting 59.1 percent from the field and burying 8 of 13 3-pointers in the first half.
Marcus Foster, who led the Wildcats with 18 points, hit three straight, and Will Spradling and Wesley Iwundu connected on back-to-back attempts early in the first half. Five possessions and the Wildcats racked up 15 points on mostly uncontested 3-pointers. Iwundu scored 11 points and 4 for 6 from the field and a perfect 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. Shane Southwell added 16 and was 2 for 3 from long distance.