The K-State men’s basketball team welcomed the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners into Bramlage Coliseum Saturday afternoon, and despite leading for most of the first half, the Wildcats were unable to contain Blake Griffin and the Sooners, losing 61-53.
The capacity crowd of 12,528 fans in Bramlage saw a first half in which the tempo was fast and both teams traded baskets. K-State (11-4, 0-1) led Oklahoma (15-1, 1-0) by seven points with 5:05 left in the half.
That lead would not last long as K-State would miss its next four shots. Oklahoma’s defensive pressure also increased causing the Wildcats to commit seven straight turnovers. The Sooners were able to score eight points off those turnovers and take a 29-26 lead into halftime.
“We just started to take care of the ball offensively, and defensively we switched it up and gave them a different look,” said Oklahoma sophomore forward Blake Griffin. “I felt like that rattled them a bit. That led us to getting some easy fast break points.”
During the beginning of the second half the Wildcats were able to keep it close, but Oklahoma went on a 13-2 scoring run allowing them to pull away and leaving the Wildcats struggling to keep up.
Blake Griffin led all scorers with 29 points and added 15 rebounds.
“We wanted Blake to take tough shots,” coach Frank Martin said. “I thought outside of a couple of breakdowns where we gave him wide-open layups, we did a good job on the best basketball player in America.”
Denis Clemente led the way for K-State with 18 points. Fred Brown was the only other Wildcat to score in double digits with 12 points.
K-State’s next Big 12 game comes at 7 p.m., Tuesday against in-state rival KU in Allen Field House in Lawrence.