Jan 5, 2013, 3:57 PM EDT
No. 6 Kansas in the best team in the Big 12. Good luck finding someone who wholeheartedly thinks anything different.
But after the Jayhawks, the conference’s waters are murky.
Saturday’s 73-67 win for No. 25 Kansas State over No. 22 Oklahoma State might have helped to clear things up.
Rodney McGruder scored 28 points, bouncing back from a 1-of-6 shooting performance in the first half to carry the Wildcats to victory in the second.
Kansas State trailed by two points at halftime and by as many as four in the second half, but cracks in the Oklahoma State defense allowed the Wildcats to climb back.
Star Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart picked up his second and third fouls in the early minutes of the second half, in part allowing McGruder to change the course of his game Saturday.
McGruder started 6-of-6 from the floor in the second and, paired with Nino Williams off the bench, was too much for Oklahoma State. Williams finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor.
As McGruder got things going off the dribble getting to the basket and on the perimeter, Kansas State also worked the ball inside. Williams scored nine straight points over the course of three minutes in the middle of the second half to extend the lead to five points.
Oklahoma State pulled to within two points with under three minutes remaining and tied the game with 2:20 to go, but McGruder struck again.
Drifting out toward the three-point line, McGruder got open for three and knocked it down. On the next possession, he side-stepped off a screen and hit another, extending the lead to five points with 1:43 remaining.
Oklahoma State’s offensive production on Saturday was centered in the backcourt with freshman Marcus Smart and junior Markel Brown. The two combined for 44 of the Cowboys’ 67 points, Smart with 25 and Brown with 19.
Without Smart and Brown, the Cowboys shot just 25 percent (6-of-24) from the field.
Kansas State now has victories over two ranked teams, this Oklahoma State team and then-No. 8 Florida.
- UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion flooded after water main break on Sunset Boulevard (PHOTOS/VIDEOS) 0
- John Calipari’s return to Kentucky ‘solely’ due to loyalty to his players 0
- The other side of the July live period: Recruits continue to strive for attention and offers 0
- Seven takeaways from AAU Nationals and Super Showcase 0
- Seven takeaways from Las Vegas for the final AAU weekend of 2014 0
- One college coach’s unique connection to the Peach Jam 0
- July Live Period Week Three Superlatives 0
- Marcus Foster still hasn’t forgotten, or forgiven, those pulled scholarships (3)
- Two surprises after first cuts at Team USA U17 trials (3)
- Top 15 recruit Antonio Blakeney has made the ‘jump’ — literally — to elite status (2)
- The latest allegations against Doug Wojcik involve a physical confrontation (2)
- Coach K: ‘I do not see an end of my road in my college coaching’ (1)