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.
With 2:39 left, Iowa State took its first lead since the opening minute of the half on Melvin Ejim's 3-pointer.
But Spangler helped put the Sooners right back on top, bulling his way into the paint, hitting a contested shot and drawing a foul.
“I just needed to be smart,” Spangler said. “You're going to have games like that where you get into foul trouble. I need to keep my head up better than I did last game but every game's a new game and I just have to come out with the same approach.”
The Sooners, who came in struggling on the defensive end, then followed that up with one of their best defensive possessions of the game.
For much of the shot clock, Buddy Hield kept DeAndre Kane from getting a good look at the basket. As the shot clock ticked down, Kane passed it to Ejim in the corner and Ejim had to throw up a desperation 3-pointer as the clock expired.
Ejim's shot didn't hit anything but the rebounding Cameron Clark's hands, and Iowa State never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead again.
“Coach was preaching to us, ‘We need stops, we need stops,'” Hield said. “I was on Kane and got a good switch.”
Hield scored 22 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers. The sophomore guard has 62 points in the last three games.
Isaiah Cousins added 17 points off the bench.
Kane led Iowa State with 23 points while Ejim added 21.