Jan. 14, 2014
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Freshman Marcus Foster led five Wildcats in double figures, as Kansas State posted a 72-66 win over No. 25 Oklahoma on Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum.
The win was the 11th in the last 12 games for the Wildcats (13-4, 3-1 Big 12), who have now defeated eight of their last 12 Top 25 opponents at home and moved to 3-1 this season against the Top 25.
"Obviously, it is a great win for us, a Top-25 win," said head coach Bruce Weber. "They are one of the top offensive teams in the country and we held them to 66 points on 33 percent shooting. Obviously, the gut-check part of the game was when the freshmen really stepped. Wesley (Iwundu) hit that big three from the corner. Shane (Southwell) put up a shot at the end of the shot clock, Thomas (Gipson) got the rebound and Marcus hit a big shot. Wesley got two big offensive rebounds off of free throws and there were a lot of little plays like that, but I think the biggest thing is that we stopped them."
Down 62-56 with 5:37 remaining, Iwundu keyed a 16-4 run by K-State to end the game with a 3-pointer from the corner. Iwundu, who was a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, scored in double figures for the first time in Big 12 play with 11 points.
Foster followed with a jumper a minute later to cut deficit to 62-61 with 4:08 to play. After a free throw by Isaiah Cousins, Gipson tied the game at 63-all with a tip-in with just under three minutes to play. Foster then gave the Wildcats the lead for good with a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 66-63 with 2:23 to play. Foster tied his season-high with four 3-point baskets for the fifth time.
Junior Nino Williams, who nearly collected his first career double-double with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds, was clutch down the stretch, going 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the last 23 seconds.
Foster was joined in double figures by Southwell, who scored 16 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals in 29 minutes. Senior Will Spradling joined Iwundu and Williams in double figures with 10 points to go with a team-tying five assists. It also marked the first time this season that five players scored in double figures and just the third time under Weber.
After falling behind by six points early in the first half, K-State used a 15-3 spurt on five consecutive 3-pointers during a two-minute span in the first half to gain a 23-17 lead. The Wildcats pushed the lead to as many as seven points before the Sooners used a 14-3 run to first tie it at 33-all then take a 37-33 advantage with 1:02 remaining.
After a 3-pointer by Southwell and an Oklahoma free throw, Spradling gave K-State the improbable lead at halftime, 38-37, as he canned three straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer with eight-tenths of a second of the clock. The Wildcats connected on a season-best 59.1 percent (13-of-22), including 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from 3-point range, in the first half.
K-State did not relinquish the lead again until the 8:16 mark of the second half, but never trailed by more than six after falling behind 62-56 with 5:37 remaining.
Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) was led by sophomore Ryan Spangler, who registered a double-double with game-highs in both points (21) and rebounds (14). The Big 12's leading scorer, Cameron Clark, who was averaging 18.3 points per game, was held to just two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
The defense was again stifling for K-State, as the Wildcats held the Big 12's offensive leaders to 21 points under their scoring average. The Sooners' 66 points were their second-lowest scoring total of the season, as they connected on a season-low 33 percent (22-of-66) from the field.
Despite giving up 19 offensive rebounds to the Sooners, the Wildcats also won the rebounding battle for the 12th time in the last 13 games by a 42-38 margin, and moved to 32-2 under Weber when out-rebounding their opponent, including 12-1 this season.
K-State connected on 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field, including a season-high 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from beyond the arc. The team's 11 3-pointers were the second-most this season.
K-State moved to 24-1 under Weber when scoring 70 or more points, including 9-0 this season.
Kansas State continues its two-game homestand on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to West Virginia (10-7, 2-2 Big 12) at 12:30 p.m. CT on the Big 12 Network. The school will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Final Four team with a special recognition during the contest.
Tickets can be purchased for as low as $25 for bench and general admission tickets and are available through the Athletics Ticket Office in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221-CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at Bramlage Coliseum.