ANALYSIS: Men’s basketball leads the whole way against Oklahoma

Redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra dribbles towards the basket during the men's basketball game against Oklahoma in Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday. The Wildcats took the Sooners 61-53, securing their second conference win of the season.

The men’s basketball team dispatched the Oklahoma Sooners quickly Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum, leading the whole game and winning 61-53.

Kansas State took a lead early, going up 6-0 in the first three minutes and not allowing Oklahoma a field goal until the 12-minute mark.

Great jump starts into the start of the game and the start of the half,” head coach Bruce Weber said.

K-State’s defense was a big part of the win. They forced 19 Sooner turnovers, held Oklahoma to just 19 percent from the three-point line and 22 first-half points.

“They did not get to 40 [points] until it was 3-something [minutes] left,” Weber said. “I thought it was a great effort to turn them over. They’re one of the best teams at taking care of the ball in the country.”

The Wildcats were able to nurse that lead and keep it around 10 points until the final six minutes of the first half. Oklahoma used a sloppy few minutes from K-State to cut the lead from first-half high of 13 down to six.

During that six-minute stretch, K-State managed just three points, three turnovers and missed eight three-point attempts.

K-State once again managed to come out of the locker room hot, scoring nine unanswered points over the first five minutes to push the lead to 15.

From there, both teams traded baskets back and forth throughout a sloppy 12-minute stretch before Oklahoma made its final push.

K-State went cold shooting while Oklahoma — who was not shooting well to that point — got hot and cut the K-State lead to four points with just ten seconds left.

“Kansas State did a good job defensively,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said. “It’s usually the case when you have trouble scoring, we had some looks that did not go, but we also did not have great movement.”

Junior guard Mike McGuirl iced the game away with four-straight free throws to finish it out. K-State did not score a field goal in the last 2:30.

“It felt great to be out there with my brothers,” McGuirl said. “I just try to do my part and do my best to help the team win. We were able to win tonight, which we very much needed.”

McGuirl led all scorers with 16 points. Senior forward Xavier Sneed was right behind him with 12 points and redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra scored 10 off the bench. Senior forward Makol Mawien contributed 10 rebounds.

K-State is now 9-11 on the season and 2-5 in conference play. Their next game will be on the road against West Virginia at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.