Oklahoma’s five game win streak following their loss to a tough Stephen F. Austin had the Sooners in the right direction toward a trip to the NCAA Tournament. However, Kruger could not overcome his former school, who put the brakes on a hot Sooner squad.
The sixteenth-ranked Kansas State Wildcats fended off Oklahoma in Manhattan, 69-60. OU won its first three conference games, but they could not overcome Rodney McGruder and the Wildcats.
McGruder scored a game-high 20 points, and was aided by a 15-point performance by Will Spradling.
Kansas State simply won the turnover battle and hit 10-24 three point attempts, while the Sooners were a mere 3-11 from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma clawed their way to keep this one competitive, but KSU pulled away in the end.
The loss drops the Sooners to 3-1 in conference play, and could have benefitted greatly from stealing a game in Manhattan. They will get one more chance at Kansas State in Norman, but can not afford to turn the ball over and allow the Wildcats big runs late in the game.
Both the Sooners and Wildcats will have no time to rest between now and their next contests. Oklahoma hosts Texas tomorrow night, which will be nationally televised on ESPN at 8:30 pm CT. As the Sooners get ready for their big game against the Longhorns, Kansas State will take the court again Tuesday to take on instate rival Kansas.
Oklahoma’s loss puts them in a tie for third place with Iowa State and Baylor, who all share a 3-1 record. They will definitely have an opportunity to make some noise in the Big 12 with a tough stretch of Texas, Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State in Norman, Iowa State, and then Kansas again.
These next few weeks will be no cake walk, but if the Sooners can steal a few of those, their stock will be in good shape as March quickly approaches.