No. 16 Kansas State beats Oklahoma 69-60
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Lon Kruger couldn't continue his success against his former team as Oklahoma couldn't take care of the basketball.
Over the last decade, Kruger has had the Wildcats' number. While coaching at Illinois, UNLV and now Oklahoma, Kruger's record against the Wildcats was 4-1.
Now it's 4-2.
Kruger's team was done in by 16 turnovers in the 69-60 loss to No. 16 Kansas State on Saturday night.
"We did not take very good care of the ball, and that is entirely because the Kansas State defense was outstanding," Kruger said. "They did a terrific job and dictated. We have not had that much trouble handling the ball on the season, and you have to credit Kansas State for that."
Rodney McGruder scored 20 points and Will Spradling added 15 in a matchup of unbeaten Big 12 teams.
Romero Osby and Amath M'Baye both scored 12 points for Oklahoma.
Shane Southwell and Angel Rodriguez both added 12 points for Kansas State. Southwell had seven rebounds, and Rodriguez had nine assists. With four Wildcats scoring in double figures, McGruder was quick to credit everyone for the win.
"We're a team," McGruder said. "Not just one person can lead us to victory. We do this collectively. That's great. I'm proud of everyone who stepped up."
The Sooners (12-4, 3-1) kept pace with the Wildcats most of the way thanks to snagging 36 rebounds to Kansas State's 24. That would not be enough to counteract the damage done by turnovers.
"Our dives, loose balls, deflections, those little things make a difference," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "We made up for the lack of rebounding by getting those 50-50 balls, or those energy kind of plays that you need."
Even so, Kansas State (15-2, 4-0) only got a double-digit lead in the second half. Oklahoma quickly responded with a 9-4 run that cut the Wildcats' lead to five points.
After turning the ball over just four times in the first half, Kansas State got whistled for a backcourt violation and a travel on consecutive possessions. Oklahoma took advantage of neither opportunity.
Instead, the Wildcats rallied from the series of mistakes with an 8-1 run that began with a contested 3 by Spradling and continued with a basket by Jordan Henriquez and McGruder's fourth 3 of the game. Free throws by Spradling gave Kansas State a 51-37 lead with 8:50 remaining.
With the Wildcats up 52-39 a few minutes later, Oklahoma went on a 9-2 run that included two baskets by Osby and a 3 by Steven Pledger, bringing the Sooners within 52-48.
Spradling promptly hit a long jumper to widen the gap to 55-48.
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