Second Half Rally Helps OSU Past K-State, 61-47

STILLWATER, Okla. – Junior Phil Forte III paced four players in double figures with a game-high 20 points to help Oklahoma State to a 61-47 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon before 11,185 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

With the Wildcats leading 35-32 with 17:34 to play, the Cowboys (11-2, 1-0 Big 12) used a 15-0 run over a span of 3 minutes and 19 seconds to take control of the game. Forte had five points in the run, including a 3-pointer at the 14:51 mark to give OSU its first double-digit lead at 45-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 17 points late in the second half, as the Cowboys won for the 14th time in 15 meetings against the Wildcats at home.

K-State (7-7, 0-1 Big 12), which has lost three in a row, was led by senior Thomas Gipson’s 14 points.

The Basics
Final Score: Oklahoma State 61, Kansas State 47
Records: Kansas State (7-7, 0-1 Big 12); Oklahoma State (11-2, 1-0 Big 12)
Attendance: 11,185 (paid)
Next Game: Wednesday, Jan. 7 \\ vs. TCU (13-0) \\ 8 p.m. CT \\ ESPNews

The Short Story
•    Forte led four Oklahoma State players in double figures with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 field goals in 35 minutes, while senior Le’Bryan Nash added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks in 37 minutes.
•    OSU connected on 52.4 percent (11-of-21) in the second half to rally from a 29-27 deficit at halftime. The Cowboys used a 15-0 run early in the second half to take the lead for good with 17:10 to play.
•    K-State, which failed to reach 60 points for the third straight game, connected on just 37.8 percent (17-of-45) from the field, including 29.2 percent (7-of-24) in the second half.
•    K-State fell to 1-7 when scoring less than 70 points, while the team is 6-0 when eclipsing the mark.
•    Oklahoma State scored 23 points off of 13 K-State turnovers and held a 23-10 edge in points off turnovers. K-State has now allowed 5 opponents to score 20 or more points off of turnovers.
•    Gipson led two Wildcats in double figures with 14 points on 4-of-8 field goals and 6-of-7 free throws, while junior Justin Edwards added 11 points and a team-high 5 rebounds.

How It Happened  |  First Half
•    The two teams went back and forth in the early going, as they battled through seven ties and numerous lead changes in the first half.
•    Tied at 17-all with 11:36 to play in the opening half, Forte extended a 6-0 run by Oklahoma State with the first of his three 3-pointers at the 9:42 mark.
•    K-State rallied to tie it at 23-all with consecutive free throws by Edwards with 6:03 to play.
•    With the score again knotted at 25-all with 3:41 to play, Gipson started a 4-0 spurt with four consecutive free throws that helped the Wildcats to a 29-27 halftime lead.
•    The Wildcats connected on 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the field, including 40 percent (4-of-10) from 3-point range, and hit on 70 percent (7-of-10) from the free throw line.
•    Gipson (10) and Edwards (9) combined for 19 of the Wildcats’ 29 first-half points on 6-of-8 field goals.

How It Happened  |  Second Half
•    K-State extended its halftime lead to four points on two occasions in the early going, including 33-29 on a lay-up by Gipson with 18:19 to play.
•    Down 35-32 at the 17:34 mark, senior Anthony Hickey ignited the 15-0 run with back-to-back baskets in a 24-second span to give Oklahoma State the lead for good at 36-35.
•    The Cowboys used balanced scoring during the run with 5 points coming from Forte, 4 each from Hickey and junior Jeff Newberry and 2 from senior Michael Cobbins.
•    During this stretch, K-State had 5 turnovers and went 0-of-4 from the field.
•    Freshman Malek Harris ended the run with a lay-up with 13:55 to play to cut it to 47-37.
•    Oklahoma State would stretch the lead to as many as 17 points down the stretch, including 60-43 after a Forte lay-up with 4:15 remaining.
•    Hickey and Newberry led all scorers with 10 points each in the second half.
•    Oklahoma State scored 13 points off of 7 second-half turnovers.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    K-State dropped to 50-52 all-time in conference openers, including 7-12 in the Big 12 era… The Wildcats are now 16-33 when opening league play on the road, including 2-10 in the Big 12 era… The squad has now lost 4 in a row when opening Big 12 play on the road.
•    Oklahoma State won for the 14th time in the last 15 meetings against K-State at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
•    K-State lost for the 2nd time this season when leading at the half and dropped to 45-6 under Bruce Weber.
•    Gipson led K-State in scoring for the team-best 5th time this season and has registered double figures points in 8 of 13 games played… Edwards had double figures for the 3rd time.
•    K-State used its fifth different starting lineup in 14 games on Saturday with sophomore Nigel Johnson, junior Justin Edwards, sophomore Wesley Iwundu, senior Nino Williams and senior Thomas Gipson… It marked Johnson’s first career start, while not one player has started every game.

Quotable
•    “It was another tough loss for our guys. I liked our energy to start, but we weren’t able to maintain it in the second half and Oklahoma State was able to use the experience with their guards. (Phil) Forte just never gives in. He just keeps coming and doesn’t let missed shots affect the rest of his game. Our guys will get a day off tomorrow and hopefully we can get some rest and re-group for another big game on Wednesday against TCU,” said head coach Bruce Weber.   

Up Next
•    K-State opens the home portion of its Big 12 slate on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats host TCU (13-1) at Bramlage Coliseum.  Tip is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPNews. Tickets are available by calling the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS or online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets.