Foster's Heroics Lead Kansas State Past Oklahoma
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Oklahoma was the toast of the country after Monday's dominating win at Texas. All week, the Sooners talked about not overlooking a mediocre Kansas State team that rolled into Norman on Saturday with just an 8-7 record.
So much for that.
Marcus Foster sent the game to overtime, where he won the game for the Wildcats with a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left. Kansas State handed the Sooners their first home loss of the year, a dispiriting 66-63 overtime defeat.
Despite struggling for most of the game with foul issues, Foster got hot at the right time, hitting a floater over Ryan Spangler with 5.3 seconds left to tie the game at 55. Jordan Woodard had a 3-pointer rattle in and out and then bounce off the rim at the buzzer.
In overtime, Buddy Hield tied the game at 63 with a layup with 29.2 seconds left. Foster responded with a fadeaway 3-pointer over Hield with 4.1 seconds left. This time, it was TaShawn Thomas who missed a 3-pointer to tie at the buzzer.
As impressive as Monday's win was, Saturday's loss was equally disappointing and just plain bad. Oklahoma allowed the Wildcats to shoot 45.5 percent, a product of Kansas State's terrific passing and team approach on offense. The Wildcats had 15 assists on 30 made baskets, including 12 on 15 in the first half when Kansas State set the tone for the entire evening.
Foster finished with 14 for Kansas State, but it was little-known Stephen Hurt who came off the bench to lead the Wildcats with 15 points.
Most disturbing were the struggles the Sooners went through on offense. Hield was very good on Saturday, scoring a career-high 31 points, 20 of those coming in the first half. Thomas started slow, but finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
But outside of those two players, the other five Sooners that played were just 7-of-29 for 18 points. Oklahoma never had any semblance of flow on offense and finished with just four assists. Just a single one of those came in the second half on 14 field goals.
The struggles were apparent from the very beginning of the game. Kansas State held the lead throughout most of the first half, despite two fouls on Foster that put him on the bench for half of the first 20 minutes.
The second began the same way, as Foster and Thomas Gipson both picked up their third fouls and Isaiah Cousins hit two quick baskets to give OU a 34-31 lead. But the Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run to take a 42-34 lead with 13:52 left. Oklahoma responded with a 10-1 run of its own, capped by Spangler's steal and breakaway dunk with 8:14 left that gave OU a 46-45 lead.
A free throw from Thomas gave OU a 55-51 lead with 2:26 left in regulation. The Sooners wouldn't score again, as Spangler missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity with 33 seconds left, setting the stage for Foster's heroics.
The Sooners admitted this week their offense is not where they would like it to be, but with road games coming against West Virginia, Kansas and Baylor in the next two weeks, along with a home Bedlam matchup next Saturday, the Sooners better figure things out quickly.
Offensive struggles cost Oklahoma one game on Saturday. If things don't improve soon, they could cost the Sooners much more than that.