Sooners hand Wildcats 86-73 beat down in Norman

(Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian) Senior guard Shane Southwell attempts a dunk and is fowled by Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins in the Wildcats' victory over the Oklahoma Sooners January 14 in Bramlage Coliseum.

The K-State Wildcats have been bad on the road this season. On Saturday afternoon in Norman, Okla., the Wildcats displayed their worst first-half performance of the season. K-State battled back in the second half, outscoring the Sooners 51-45, but the deficit was just too great.

Despite the Wildcats’ offensive struggles as a team, freshman guard Marcus Foster found success. Foster finished with 21 points, his fifth time eclipsing the 20-point mark in Big 12 play.

Defense has been the Wildcats’ bread and butter all season, but that wasn’t the case in Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday. The Sooners finished the game shooting nearly 52 percent from the field. Oklahoma also won the rebounding battle 33-28 and finished with six fewer turnovers than the Wildcats. With the loss, the Wildcats’ road skid extends to six straight games.

As the score might reflect, there was no X-factor for the Wildcats in Norman. For the Sooners, sophomore guard Buddy Hield got it going early, igniting the Oklahoma offense. Hield scored five of the Sooners first seven points and finished with a team-high 18 points and three steals. He also contributed three offensive boards and four assists.

Momentum Swing
At nearly the halfway point of the first half, the Wildcats found themselves trailing by only five after junior forward Thomas Gipson got an easy layup. From that point, the Sooners outscored the Wildcats 24-5 until the 1:23 mark in the half. During the nine-minute span, the Wildcats could only muster two field goals.

By the numbers
20.5 – K-State has struggled on the road this season, but it hasn’t been because of the naïveté of Foster. Foster has averaged 20.5 points per game in his last four road games.

43 – The Wildcats’ freshmen scored a combined 43 points. This was the most of any game all season by the K-State freshmen.

Going Forward
The Wildcats (18-9, 8-6 Big 12) will take their six-game road losing streak to Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.