Oklahoma State rode the momentum of an 8-0 run to end the first half with a near flawless second-half shooting performance, as the Cowboys earned a 70-54 win over a short-handed Kansas State on Saturday night in front of a limited capacity crowd of 965 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
Oklahoma State (8-3, 2-3 Big 12) connected on 56.3 percent (27-of-48) from the field, including 75 percent (15-of-20) in the second half, as the Cowboys ran their winning streak to 3 in a row over the Wildcats. OSU’s second-half field goal percentage tied for the seventh-highest by an opponent in school history.
Although K-State held the Big 12’s leading scorer – freshman phenom Cade Cunningham – to a season-low 5 points, four other Cowboys scored in double figures, including a game-tying 15 points each from junior Isaac Likekele and freshman Rondel Walker, while sophomore Kalib Boone added 14 points. OSU took advantage of the greater depth, outscoring the K-State bench, 33-6.
The Wildcats (5-8, 1-4 Big 12) played with the minimum number of 8 players, including 6 on scholarship, as injuries and unavailability continued to mount. The team played without its starting point guard Nijel Pack, who had a season-best 17 points at No. 18/19 Texas Tech on Tuesday, while they continued to be without season-opening game starters Kaosi Ezeagu and Montavious Murphy, who each missed their ninth games.
After Saturday’s game, seven different players have now combined to miss 41 games this season.
Due to the low numbers, senior Mike McGuirl and junior Rudi Williams each played the entire 40 minutes, while sophomore DaJuan Gordon and freshman Selton Miguel each registered 39 minutes of action. Freshman Davion Bradford played just 12 minutes due to foul trouble, which allowed sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis to play a career-high 15 minutes of action.
The heavy minutes reflected in the Wildcats’ offensive play, as the team scored a season-low 54 points on 36.2 percent (21-of-58) shooting, including 25 percent (6-of-24) from 3-point range, and made just 6 of 12 free throw attempts. K-State was within 47-39 after a 3-pointer by Gordon with 10:27 to play, but the team couldn’t sustain any momentum as OSU continued its hot shooting en route to building as much as an 18-point lead.
McGuirl tied the game-high with 15 points on 5-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, while Gordon collected his third double-double in the last 7 games with 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting with a game-high 11 rebounds. Williams had 9 points in his first career start on 4-of-9 field goals, while Miguel tallied 6 points and a game-high 7 assists. Petrakis scored his first career points with 6:13 left in the first half and finished with a career-best 6 points on 2-of-5 field goals, including his first 3-pointer, to go with 2 rebounds.