He’s back: Foster downs No. 17 Oklahoma again

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Sophomore guard Marcus Foster dodges OU sophomore guard Jordan Woodard before making a miraculous three-point shot during the 2nd half of the K-State vs. Oklahoma University Men's Basketball game on Feb. 14, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats took a victory of 59-56 against #17 Oklahoma. (Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

Saturday saw the end of a multitude of things.

First and foremost, sophomore guard Marcus Foster and freshman forward Malek Harris returned from a three-game suspension. That allowed the next two things to happen.

No. 17 Oklahoma (17-8, 8-5) had a five-game win streak snapped, and K-State (13-13, 6-7) returned to the win column after a five-game losing skid, topping the Sooners 59-56. Both were the result of a Foster 3-pointer.

Though Foster did not start Saturday, he did finish by ending his night with the game winner that hearkened back to the overtime shot that clinched a win in Norman, Oklahoma a month ago.

“It’s ironic, it was the exact same shot,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said after the game. “To beat them twice, it’s pretty amazing for him to do that. I thought it was an even cleaner look than last time.”

Foster led K-State in scoring with 14 points along with senior forward Nino Williams who had 13 points. Oklahoma was led by junior guard Buddy Hield, who averages 17.6 points but was held to just 14 points in part to stout defending by K-State sophomore forward Wesley Iwundu.

“He (Iwundu) did a great job,” Weber said. “He did that with Kenny Chery in the second half the last time. Like I said, I challenged him. We have watched a lot of film and Wes has been brought up many times and probably not in the best tone of voice, so he reacted well. I thought his reactions were much better. I do not know what Buddy had in the second half. I know he got one on Justin (Edwards) when he was being casual in transition and he might have had one other, but Wesley did a good job.”

In the first half, Oklahoma jumped out to a comfortable lead shooting 45 percent. K-State remained within striking distance, though, despite poor shooting from the field. The Wildcats shot 10-10 from the three-throw line to start the game and finished the first half 87 percent.

Sophomore forward Brandon Bolden played just two minutes total in the first half before a scary collision caused him to fall hard on his left arm and draw blood from his upper lip. After the game, Weber believed Bolden had broken his wrist but wouldn’t be sure until he was examined further after the game.

In the second half, poor shooting continued for the Wildcats as the Sooners gathered jumped out to their largest of the game at six points. K-State responded with a 15-6 run to retake the lead, one they would not relinquish.

Foul trouble was key for Oklahoma down the stretch. The Sooners’ depth was challenged in the second half after junior forward Ryan Spangler fouled out with eight minutes left in the game.

“We had foul trouble too,” Weber said, responding to Spangler fouling out. “(Senior forward) Thomas Gipson was in foul trouble, and we had a couple guys with two in the first half and had to have them out. Lon (Kruger) took a gamble with (Ryan Spangler) and put him back in with nine minutes left. I do not know when he fouled out but it was pretty early. We have not had a lot of good fortune go our way but maybe this time some things did. That was one of our emphasis down the stretch there, to isolate Thomas in the post, because I do not think either one could really guard him.”

K-State will hit the road this week for two games in the state of Texas. The Wildcats will face TCU in Forth Worth, Texas on Wednesday before a Saturday matchup with Baylor in Waco, Texas.

“We still believe in each other, and we still care,” Williams said. “If you believe and care, anything can happen. We have just been positive and even keeled.”

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