For a large part of the first half, the Kansas State men’s basketball team dominated the court against the University of Oklahoma Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.
At the 15:50 minute mark of the first half, K-State held an 11-7 lead over Oklahoma. At that point in time, junior Barry Brown had six points, and OU’s Trae Young had turned it over twice.
Most of the team’s early points were on fast break layups and dunks.
K-State was playing fast, excited and with high energy. That escalated the intensity of the crowd in Bramlage.
In the first few minutes, Brown slammed home a pass from redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra after he had stripped Young, and the crowd erupted.
For a good portion of the opening period, the Wildcats shot efficiently. They took high-percentage shots and were converting. That is backed up by their 40 percent three-point shooting mark.
For as well as K-State was shooting, OU was equally as bad. Its first half field-goal percentage was just 40 percent, and they only shot 27.8 percent from behind the arc.
Despite that stat, the Sooners came back late in the half.
With 11:31 remaining the first period, the Cats held a 23-9 lead. Later on, with 7:45 remaining, they found themselves up 27-13.
That was when Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger and his team had enough.
For the next 3:15, OU went on a 13-3 run. Soon after, the Sooners led 33-32 with just under two minutes to go.
A large part of why the Sooners regained the lead was the fact that Kruger switched them to a zone defense. The Wildcats couldn’t get as many shots, and the guards started to lose control of the ball at times.
K-State responded, though, as it closed out the half on a short 6-0 spurt to take a 38-33 into the locker room.
Brown led the Wildcats in scoring the first half with 16 on 8-13 shooting. It appeared that Brown was playing upset and was a man on a mission.
In the first half, OU’s Young scored just eight points on 3-10 shooting, while giving up eight turnovers.
The success K-State had in the first half was fostered by hustle, grit, energy and harassing defense.
To begin the second half, the Wildcats came out firing — literally.
In the first four minutes, they shot a scorching 4-4 from long range, and 5-6 from the field to jump out to a 52-43 lead.
Overall, the second period was much of the same. K-State was shooting well and attacking offensively time after time.
Defensively, the Wildcats were not backing down. They may not have won the rebounding battle, but they didn’t go down easily. They were also helped by more poor shooting from OU.
The second half saw the Wildcats shoot 71.4 percent on three pointers (5-7) and 73.1 percent from the field altogether (19-26).
At halftime, they were only shooting 44.4 percent.
K-State’s shooting totals for the game settled at 56.5 percent from the field, and 52.9 percent on threes. They also shot a perfect 14-14 from the free-throw line.
While K-State did play very well defensively, OU hurt themselves just as much with poor shooting.
The second half saw the Sooners shoot just 43.8 percent on field goals, and only 28.6 percent from downtown. For the whole game, their percentages were 41.9 percent and 28 percent.
Despite a turnover-filled performance, Young still finished with 20 points.
Those points were certainly overshadowed by his 12 turnovers, something that Young admitted to after the game. He said that is not the type of player he is, and it certainly will not be that way going forward. Young also refused to blame his turnovers on being a freshman.
Two other Sooners finished in double digits, as Rashard Odomes put up 16, while Brady Manek scored 12.
When it was said and done, the final score was 87-69.
K-State had four double-digit scorers. Brown dropped 24, junior Dean Wade had 21, Diarra scored 16 and sophomore Xavier Sneed added 13.
Wade was near a triple-double, as he also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists. He led the team in both of those categories.
In the first half, Wade scored just five points, but earned 16 in the second. He seemed almost unstoppable in the second half, as he shot an incredible 7-9 from the field in the second half, including 2-2 from deep.
After the game, Wade talked about what changed at halftime.
“I was just missing shots in the first half,” Wade said. “Coming out in the second half, I just tried to be aggressive, focus on defense first, and then I knew the points would come.”
Even though Brown only had eight points in the second half, he was still a fan favorite. At one point during the game, students were chanting his first name.
Head coach Bruce Weber had high praise for his team after the game. He said he was elated with how they played, beating an Oklahoma team that he believes “really has the potential to be a Final Four team.”
Weber mentioned the tough schedule the team has had in recent weeks. K-State has played No. 12 Kansas, No. 4 Oklahoma and will face No. 24 TCU.
He said with how good this league is top to bottom, it is just about survival.
Survive is exactly what K-State will have to do in their next game. On Saturday, they will play host to the TCU Horned Frogs at 3 p.m. TCU is 13-4 and has the second best offense in the league.