Jan. 14, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and never looked back, as the Sooners never trailed in earning an 82-73 victory over Kansas State at the Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats saw their modest two-game winning streak in Norman end to fall to 12-4 overall and 1-3 in Big 12 play, while the Sooners earned their first conference win and improved to 11-5 overall. All-time great and former head coach Lon Kruger improved to 3-2 against his alma mater with wins in three of the last four meetings with K-State.
Oklahoma shot an opponent-high 54.9 percent from the field, including 70 percent in the second half, and connected on 84.6 percent (22-of-26) from the free throw line to salt away the victory. Four players scored in double figures for the Sooners with Andrew Fitzgerald posting 21 points on 9-of-10 field goals, while Romero Osby and Steven Pledger added 18 points each. Junior college transfer Sam Grooms led the way with nine assists.
K-State struggled offensively throughout the game, connecting on just 39.1 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats held the Big 12's best rebounding team to just 24 rebounds and a 44-24 edge on the glass. However, the team allowed the Sooners to score 30 points off of 19 turnovers, marking the second straight game that K-State has allowed an opponent to score 30 points off miscues.
Junior Rodney McGruder earned his fourth career double-double with a team-high 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in 39 minutes of action. He has led the team in scoring in six consecutive games and now has scored in double figures a team-best 12 times. Reserves Nino Williams and Jeremy Jones collected 12 points each, while Will Spradling added 11 points (all in the second half). Williams scored in double figures for the first time in his career, while he posted a career-best nine rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
The Sooners jumped out to a 7-0 lead, forcing head coach Frank Martin to call his first timeout. After the Wildcats closed to within 7-6, the squad used another 7-0 run to push the edge to 18-8 with 12:33 to play. K-State would rally to within 20-18 with an 8-2 run of its own before Oklahoma again pushed forward with eight straight points. The Sooners led by as many as 12 in the first half before Jones cut the deficit to 38-29 on a long 3-pointer with 40 seconds left.
The Wildcats again started the second half slow, as the Sooners built their advantage to double figures, including 69-51 with 8:28 remaining. McGruder cut the lead to 76-69 on a 3-pointer with 3:37 left, but Oklahoma kept K-State at bay with stellar free throw shooting in a 9-point victory.
Kansas State returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, as the Wildcats play host to Texas (12-5, 2-2 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum. Tip is set for 8 p.m. CST on ESPN2.