No. 16 K-State stays hot by downing Oklahoma
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Rodney McGruder scored a game-high 20 points and Will Spradling added 15 on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, as No. 16 Kansas State defeated Oklahoma, 69-60 at Fred Bramlage Coliseum Saturday for its eighth straight win.
Sophomore guard Angel Rodriguez scored 12 points and dished out nine assists and fellow guard Shane Southwell also donated 12 points and seven assists for the Wildcats (15-2, 4-0 Big 12) who improved to 11-0 in home games this season.
"We were just ready to play," McGruder said. "You see guys' mentality change around the locker room. We are really focused and everyone is really buying into what coach is saying. When that happens, we can be really good and that is what we are doing. Just from a mental aspect, everyone is buying in."
Amath M'Baye and Romero Osby both registered 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while Osby grabbed eight boards and M'Baye tallied four for the Sooners (12-4, 3-1) who snapped a five-game win streak.
An Osby dunk gave Oklahoma an early 21-17 lead with just over eight minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats, however, caught fire and took control of the game entering the break.
The team went on a 18-6 run to close the first half, highlighted by a pair of McGruder 3-pointers which help turn a 23-21 deficit into a 27-25 edge.
McGruder answered with another trey with just over three minutes left in the half before an Adrian Diaz slam and Southwell 3-pointer gave KSU five more points and a 35-27 halftime lead.
After a M'Baye dunk brought the Sooners back within striking distance at 41-36 in the early stages of the second half, Kansas State increased its lead with a 10-1 run capped off by Spradling's free throw with 8:51 left that made the score 51-37.
Rodriguez came up huge for the 'Cats with just over three minutes left, making a crafty layup and a clutch 3-pointer that gave Kansas State a 61-52 lead moments after an Osby jumper closed the gap to six points.
"They played better than we did, and that is the way it works," Kansas State coach Lon Kruger said. "I thought they ran their stuff more efficiently than we did. Again, their defense was a big factor in us not executing as well as we wanted to on the half court. They made three's, and we did not for the most part. So, when you play a top-ranked team in the country you need to play better than we did to win, and we did not play at that level."
The Wildcats were able to hold off the deflated Sooners in the last two-plus minutes to remain unbeaten in Big 12 play.
Oklahoma is 3-2 in true road games this season ... Kruger, a 1975 graduate of Kansas State, now holds a 4-3 all-time record against his alma mater ... The Sooners' Buddy Hield finished with eight points and 10 rebounds in the loss ... The Wildcats hadn't won eight straight overall since reeling off 10 in a row during the 2009-10 season ... OU shot 47.2 percent from the floor, but had 16 turnovers which resulted in 26 Kansas State points.
01/19 21:15:13 ET