NORMAN — After Oklahoma finished off an 87-82 upset over No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday, Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg looked down at the stat sheet and offered a quick reason — the reason — why the Sooners were able to hand his team their first loss.
“Well, we got our butts kicked on the glass,” Hoiberg said. “That's the bottom line.”
The reason for that was simple — Ryan Spangler.
Three nights after turning in his worst game as a Sooner, the sophomore from Bridge Creek had his best.
Spangler had 16 points and 15 rebounds — seven on the offensive end — as Oklahoma held on after very nearly blowing a 13-point second-half win.
Oklahoma (13-3 overall, 2-1 Big 12) plays at Kansas State at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Iowa State fell to 14-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12.
In Wednesday's loss against Kansas, Spangler had just four points and three rebounds while staying in foul trouble most of the night.
Saturday, though, Spangler set the tone early with his physical play against Georges Niang on the inside and then controlled things late.
“He didn't like not playing a factor in that ballgame,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said of the loss to KU. “I thought in the second half Ryan just really took over the game and did some great things offensively and again just rebounded the ball like crazy.
“The guys have so much respect for how he approaches it. He brings it every day and really doesn't care about anything except the team.”
Spangler was right there when his team needed it most.