Kansas State Battles Back Late to Down the Sooners in Big 12 Action

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MANHATTAN – The Kansas State Wildcats knocked off No. 25 Oklahoma, 72-66, for their third win of the season against a Top 25 opponent. The win also marks the fifth straight season that the Wildcats have accomplished that feat, the longest in program history.

“When you win a game and you don’t play your best, you have to be happy,” said coach Bruce Weber. “We got enough rebounds when it counted, but (Ryan) Spangler had his way with us.”

The Wildcats (13-4, 3-1 Big 12) were led by Marcus Foster’s 18 points while Shane Southwell had 16. However, the name of the game down the stretch was rebounding as K-State not only out rebounded Oklahoma 42-38 overall, but grabbed 12 of the final 14 rebounds in the game. K-State’s dominance on the boards down the stretch contributed to a 16-4 run that led to the victory.

The Wildcats found themselves with the early momentum as they jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead off of a layup by Marcus Foster before OU would get on the board with a three-pointer at the 17:55 mark of the game.

OU (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) would take the lead 7-6 with 16:00 left in the first half and kept the lead until the Wildcats would connect on five straight three-pointers to take the lead 23-17 with 12:02 left in the first half. K-State would extend their lead to to its largest margin at the 8:47 mark of the first half as Wesley Iwunda would connect with a triple by making it 28-19.

OU would make a run at the end of the half to take the lead with 1:58 left off of a pair of free throws by Spangler. But there was no quit in the ‘Cats as Will Spradling would be fouled on a three point attempt and make all three free throws before half to give the advantage back to K-State, 39-38.

K-State remained in control of the lead in the second half until Spangler would get loose for a layup with 9:04 left to play and give the Sooners a 53-52 advantage. OU would extend their lead to 62-56 off of a pair of Spangler free throws with 5:37 remaining for their biggest lead of the second half.

The Wildcats then shifted gears and made their pivotal 16-4 run over the remaining five minutes of the game. A three by Marcus Foster with 2:23 left gave the lead to the Wildcats for good as they went up 66-63 as the final six points would all come from the charity stripe to secure the K-State victory. For the game the Wildcats shot 19-28 from the line including a 6-8 performance in the final 45 seconds.

In total, there were five Wildcats in double figures on the night with Nino Williams falling one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Southwell grabbed eight boards and while Iwundu and Thomas Gipson had six.  Iwundu finished with 11 points while Spradling finished with 10 to round out the Wildcats in double digits.

Ryan Spangler finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Sooners while Buddy Hield finished with 12.

Kansas State will host West Virginia at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday in Big 12 play. Tip off is set for 12:30 p.m.

K-State Women’s Basketball Defeats Texas Tech for First Big 12 Win

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(This article originally appeared on the SBNation.com site www.bringonthecats.com – Photo via kstatesports.com of Leticia Romero)

LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas State enjoyed their best shooting performance in over a month as the Wildcats picked up a much needed road victory over Texas Tech, 72-65.  The 27-54 performance from the floor is the first time the Wildcats have eclipsed the 50 percent field goal shooting mark since defeating Tennessee State on December 8th.

“We had a lot of different players make plays and that’s a great sign for this team,” said associate head coach Kamie Ethridge on the postgame radio broadcast. “We ought to walk out of here with a lot more confidence.”

“It’s nice to look down on the stat sheet and see good percentages and know how they are scoring.”

The win also puts an end to a 10 game road-losing streak for the Wildcats (7-9, 1-4 Big 12) and gives them the all-time series edge over Tech, 13-12.

Freshman phenom Leticia Romero led K-State with 21 points while Ashia Woods finished with 14. Katya Leick led the Wildcats on the boards with eight while Woods and Brianna Craig each had six.

Defensively, K-State struggled against the Red Raiders (6-10, 0-5 Big 12) Amber Battle, giving up 32 points on 10-15 shooting from the floor. Battle was also 11-13 from the line.

The Wildcats used a 15-3 run to end the first half to go into the break leading 27-21. K-State would then jump out to a 10-point lead on buckets by Woods and Romero to start the second half but would never extend their lead any further as Texas Tech would battle to keep the game close. With 10:02 left to play in the game the Red Raiders would pull within two before the Wildcats would stretch the lead back to as many as eight several times over the remaining minutes.

While the road victory and Big 12 win were certainly something to cheer for, the Wildcats jubilation ended quickly as Haley Texada went down in the final 20 seconds of the game with an apparent ankle injury, an incident coach Ethridge described to make her “just feel sick for something like that to happen.”

The Wildcats return to Bramlage Colesium on Saturday as they play host to Big 12 opponent Iowa State. Tip off is set for 7 p.m on what is being dubbed “Pack the House” night where admission is just $1 for all to attend.