Takeaways from an OU basketball scorched-earth win in the Octagon of Doom

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Who were those guys in Oklahoma basketball jerseys who ran roughshod over a Kansas State team that isn't used to losing at home and certainly in not the way they lost to a highly motivated Sooner team on Tuesday night at the place Wildcat fans like to call the "Octagon of Doom"?

The Sooners had lost nine of their last 10 games at Kansas State coming into Tuesday's contest, but not on this trip, which could OU's last with the move to the SEC next season. Oklahoma wasn't at its best on offense but still managed to win by 20 points, 75-53, in procuring its second Big 12 road win of the season.

Obviously. the Oklahoma team that hit the floor at K-State's Bramlage Coliseum wasn't the same group that lost back-to-back games at home last week and allowed Texas Tech on Saturday to shoot 72 percent in the second half while blowing a nine-point lead with seven minutes to go. That Sooner team probably wouldn't have gotten the job done at K-State, even with the Wildcats playing one of their worst games of the season

Oklahoma got a 23-point game from Jalon Moore, who has been a major force in Big 12 play, and 21 from Javian McCollum. Fifteen of Moore's points came in the first half. But make no mistake, lockdown defense won this game. The Sooners held K-State scoreless for the first eight minutes of the game and to just three points through the first 10 minutes. OU led 35-19 at the half.

That same suffocating defense continued in the second half. The Wildcats shot just 30.2 percent (16 of 53) of for the game, their worst offensive performance of the season, and were a putrid 4 of 28 on three-point attempts.

The Sooners' offensive performance wasn't one to write home about either, but it was more than enough to control the game and come away with the win. OU shot 42 percent (23 of 54) for the game, five points below its season average. The Sooners made just 3 of 14 three-point tries, and two of them were by Moore.

In his postgame press conference, head coach Porter Moser couldn't stop talking about how dominant the Sooners were on defense.

"We were connected defensively. We had good communication, I thought the guys were really locked in and were really active trying to get deflections."

Porter Moser, after K-State game

The Sooner head coach said his team let their intensity and communications slip in the second half of the two losses last week. They knew they couldn't let that happen on the road against a good Kansas State team.

"I thought our guys really took the challenge on," Moser said. "They knew how good these guys (Kansas State) were."

It was a solid road win. The 23rd-ranked Sooners now have as many Big 12 road wins as they do home wins in the conference (2-2 home and away). They have another tough road stop straight ahead at UCF on Saturday. The Knights already have a home win over No. 7 Kansas this season.

Takeaways from a rare and final Oklahoma road win in the Little Apple

  • The Oklahoma defense held Kansas State to a season-low 30 percent shooting for the game. The Sooners have held three other opponents to 32 percent or below this season, but all of those were nonconference games and were in Norman.
  • It was the third-lowest scoring game of the season for Kansas State. The Wildcats scored just 46 in a loss to Nebraska earlier in the season and finished with just 52 points this past Saturday in a loss at Houston,
  • Porter Moser talks a lot with his team about producing "gaps," a defensive term equates to three success stops on defense. The Sooners had seven gaps against Kansas State. When you come up with that many gaps in a game, he says, that is almost always enough to win the game.
  • OU missed 15 free throws in this game (24 of 39, 61.5 percent). That is not a stat line that is sustainable if you want to have success in the Big 12. The score might have been even worse had it not been for this.
  • The Sooners scored 40 points in the paint to just 18 by Kansas State. OU scored 14 points off of fast breaks, created at the defensive end, 19 points off of K-State turnovers and 12 second-chance points, made possible by 12 offensive rebounds.