Kansas State: R. McGruder 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl
Oklahoma: A. Fitzgerald 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk
Bucky, KC SportsNation
NORMAN, OK – After going through the most difficult stretch of their Big 12 season with a 1–2 record, K-State was in need of a win. Needing a win even more was Oklahoma as they played like the desperate team and notched their first league win, 82-73, in the echo chamber also known as Lloyd Noble Arena.
Oklahoma was paced by its inside game with Andrew Fitzgerald (21 points on 9–10 shooting) and Romero Osby (18 points on 6–8 shooting). They also shut down K-State’s inside game only allowing Nino Williams (12 points, 9 rebounds) to reach double figures.
Lon Kruger mixed up his defenses between man-to-man and zone with some full-court pressure and the Cats never developed a good rhythm. This win allowed Kruger to improve to 3–2 lifetime against his alma mater. Kruger is just another in a long line of the best coaches the Big 8/12 has ever seen.
Ever since K-State dismantled the SECessionists (Missouri), they have struggled with offensive continuity. This game coupled that issue with a lack of defensive pressure that Frank Martin teams are noted for.
This is a road that Martin has traveled before and voices of frustration are being raised again. Given his track record in the Big 12, it would be wise to hold off shoveling too much dirt on K-State’s season.
“We have to regroup and protect our home court,” Martin said. “We haven’t been as good defensively.”
Martin doesn’t tolerate token effort or attitude. Watching OU deal with success for the first time, it was clear to see their character issues. It is no wonder why they have had so many struggles lately.
Jordan Henriquez played just eight minutes and freshman Angel Rodriguez rode the pine the entire game.
“I play guys that are prepared to help us win games,” Martin added. “Angel was not prepared to help us win games.”
Martin also said that the team started slow because they were still feeling the effects of the 75-73 home loss to Baylor on Tuesday.
The one player who has really raised his game the last several games is Rodney McGruder. He scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He is showing more variety to his game as the season goes on. He is driving to the basket and also showing more of a mid-range game. They will need not only his production, but his leadership as they play a pivotal game against Texas on Wednesday night. He scored 49 points this week in the Cats two losses.
K-State (12-4, 1-3 Big 12) trailed from start to finish, falling behind 7-0. The Sooners led by as many as 12 points and trailed by nine at half, 38-29 in the first half as Kansas State shot just 33 percent. The Sooners (11-5, 1-3), who shot 55 percent from the field overall and 70 percent in the second half, led by as many as 18 in the second half before the Cats made a late charge, pulling within six points, 79-73 with 57 seconds remaining.
Jeremy Jones scored 12 – all in the first half – and Jamar Samules pulled down 11 boards for the Cats, who made things a little easier for Oklahoma, contributing 19 turnovers.
|FG Made-Attempted||25-64 (.391)||28-51 (.549)|
|3P Made-Attempted||10-30 (.333)||4-9 (.444)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-18 (.722)||22-26 (.846)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|
|Points||R. McGruder 19||A. Fitzgerald 21|
|Rebounds||J. Samuels 11||R. Osby 6|
|Assists||R. McGruder 4||S. Grooms 9|
|Steals||R. McGruder 2||C. Blair 3|
|Blocks||J. Jones 1||S. Grooms 1|
|Team Stats: Kansas State | Oklahoma|
Topeka Capital-Journal: K-State dropped to 1-3 in Big 12 play after an 82-73 loss to the Sooners
KC Star: KState Notebook: Angel Rodriguez did not play against the Sooners
Topeka Capital-Journal: As usual, K-State off to a slow start in conference play
It’s going to be a while before Frank lives down the “ever heard of that one?” line that he dropped on Stan Weber after the Baylor game. That may be a good thing.