Oklahoma ended the game on a 12-0 run, highlighted by a 3-pointer from junior Austin Reaves with 1:38 to play, as the Sooners rallied late to hand Kansas State a 66-61 defeat in the Big 12 opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon before 8,012 fans at the Lloyd Noble Center.
K-State (7-6, 0-1 Big 12), which lost its fifth game by single digits this season, led for nearly 34 minutes before Reaves’ 3-pointer at the 1:39 mark gave Oklahoma (10-3, 1-0 Big 12) a 63-61 lead. The Wildcats could never re-establish their earlier momentum, missing 3 field goals and turning the ball over twice down the stretch, as the Sooners salted the game away at the free throw line, knocking down 3 of 6 attempts to finish off the 66-61 victory.
Senior Xavier Sneed led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-17 field goals, including 5-of-13 from 3-point range, but was hampered by foul trouble, playing just under 12 minutes in the second half. Junior Cartier Diarra also registered double figures points (10), while dishing out a game-high 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Freshman DaJuan Gordon enjoyed a solid outing in his first Big 12 game, scoring 8 points and grabbing 3 rebounds.
Reaves scored 18 of his team-high 21 points in the second half on 5-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and went 5 of 6 from the free throw line. Reaves and senior Kristin Doolittle (19) combined for 40 of Oklahoma’s 66 points on 11-of-23 field goals and a 14-of-17 effort from the free throw line.
Trailing 61-54 with 3:45 to play after a 3-pointer by DaJuan Gordon, the Sooners started their run of 12 consecutive points to end the game with a layup from freshman De’Vion Harmon on the next possession. Reaves and junior Brady Manek followed with buckets before Reaves’ game-deciding 3-pointer. During this final stretch, the Wildcats missed 5 field goals and had 3 turnovers.
For the game, K-State connected on 34.9 percent (19-of-51) from the field, including 32.4 percent (12-of-37) from 3-point range, while tying a season-high with 12 3-point field goals on 37 attempts – the most by a Wildcat team under head coach Bruce Weber. Oklahoma made just 37.3 percent (19-of-51) of its field goals, including 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from long range, but went a stellar 23-of-29 from the free throw line.
The Wildcats dropped to 9-15 all-time Big 12 openers, including 3-11 when debuting away from home. Today’s game marked the 14th time that K-State and Oklahoma have met in a conference opener with the Sooners now leading those meetings, 9-5, including 5-1 at home.