MANHATTAN, Kan. — Cameron Clark and Buddy Hield struggled offensively all night.
Yet somehow, with less than four minutes left, Oklahoma led Kansas State on the road at Bramlage Coliseum.
But the Sooners' offensive struggles finally caught up with them, and their defensive woes re-emerged as the Wildcats beat No. 25 OU 72-66 in front of a crowd of 12,250.
“When you get one in position where you have a chance to win on the road, you'd like to go ahead and finish it,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “Not quite ready to do that I guess. But we've gotta learn from it and make progress.”
Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) plays at No. 12 Baylor on Saturday.
Thomas Gipson, who had struggled inside against Sooners sophomore forward Ryan Spangler, started making plays late, and the Sooners couldn't answer.
With around three minutes left, Oklahoma let a solid defensive possession slip away.
The Sooners kept the Wildcats from getting a good look until Shane Southwell launched a long jumper just before the shot clock expired.
But Gipson fought through Sooners' defenders, jumped up and tipped the rebound home to tie the game.
On Kansas State's next possession, Marcus Foster drained the Wildcats' 11th 3-pointer of the night to put K-State ahead for good.
Kansas State came into the game averaging just 5.5 3-pointers per game.
“We had a couple looks that didn't go,” Kruger said. “They made shots and we didn't. Sometimes it comes down to that.
“We had some decent looks that we needed to convert; had a couple free throws they made and we didn't.”
The Sooners were just 1 of 6 from the floor in the final three minutes and were outrebounded 10-2.
“It got physical,” Spangler said. “We weren't hitting shots that we usually make outside.”
The Sooners' late struggles wasted another excellent game from Spangler.
He had a career-high 21 points and 14 rebounds. Nine of his rebounds came at the offensive end.
In the last two games, Spangler has 37 points and 29 rebounds.
Clark, who came in leading the Big 12 in scoring with 18.3 points per game, scored his only basket with about eight minutes remaining.
Hield scored eight points in the first six minutes but had just four more the rest of the way.
The duo was a combined 6 of 25 from the floor as the Sooners had their worst shooting night of the season. Oklahoma was just 22 of 66 (33.3 percent) from the floor and just 7 of 23 from behind the 3-point line.
“I just couldn't get going man,” Clark said, shaking his head. “I couldn't get going.”
Clark said he wasn't worried about bouncing back, but said he had to adjust to some of the defensive looks he was seeing this season.
“I'm about to go to the gym and just work on my craft — get better,” Clark said. “I'm not really worried about the scoring. I didn't do what I needed to do personally. I feel like I could've helped my team out more on the defensive end, just rebounding. I've got to work on more things if my shot's not falling.”