Manhatan, Kan. (K-State Sports Information)–Senior Rodney McGruder continued his impressive play, scoring a game-high 20 points as No. 16 Kansas State defeated Oklahoma, 69-60, on Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
With the win, K-State (15-2, 4-0 Big 12) pushed its winning streak to eight games. The eight-game winning streak is the longest since the squad rattled off 10 straight wins from November 21, 2009 to January 3, 2010. The 4-0 start to Big 12 play is the best start since the 2007-08 season when the Wildcats won their first five league games. The win also snaps a two-game losing streak against the Sooners.
The first half was a see-saw battle between the two teams with both sides trading baskets. The Sooners (12-4, 3-1 Big 12) held a 21-17 advantage late in the first half, but the Wildcats used a 13-5 run to take 30-25 lead with three minutes left in the opening half. A dunk by Oklahoma’s Amath M’Baye cut the lead to three, but sophomore Adrian Diaz answered right back with a dunk of his own off of an Angel Rodriguez assist. A three-pointer by Shane Southwell gave the Wildcats a 35-27 going into the break. Southwell finished with 10 points in the half.
K-State was able to push the lead to double-digits in the second half, building its largest lead at 14 points with under nine minutes to play. Oklahoma was able to make a late push, closing to within six points at 58-52 with 3:19 to play, but the Wildcats held strong and made key free throws to seal their 15th win of the season, including their 10th at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State shot 44 percent from the field, including 41.7 percent from 3-point range, and posted double-digit 3-pointers for the third time this season with 10. Oklahoma was also held to just 60 points despite shooting 47.2 percent from the field and holding a 39-25 edge in rebounding. The Wildcats have now held 13 of 17 opponents to 65 points or less this season, including eight to 55 points or less. The team won the first time this season when being out-rebounded.
McGruder has now scored in double figures in eight consecutive games dating back to Dec. 18, which includes four 20-point outings. He is averaging 19.6 points during the team’s eight-game winning streak on 50 percent shooting, including 42.2 percent from 3-point range.
M’Baye and senior Romero Osby paced the Oklahoma scoring attack as each player finished with 12 points each for the Sooners. Freshman Buddy Hield had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Kansas State wraps up a two-game homestand on Tuesday when the Wildcats play host to No. 4 Kansas (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) in front an expected sellout crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.