The Kansas State Wildcats have hit a wall.
After starting 6-1 in Big 12 play this season, K-State has now lost five of its last six conference games, including a lopsided 79-65 defeat to the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday night.
What’s more, that’s also the Wildcats’ second consecutive loss to one of the bottom two teams in the Big 12 standings. The Texas Tech Red Raiders downed K-State over the weekend.
Oklahoma entered Tuesday’s game on a slide of its own, having lost its previous seven league games. The Sooners’ only win in that stretch was in the Big 12/SEC Challenge over the current No. 1 team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The game was tied at 36 at halftime, with both teams shooting well from the floor, but in the second half Oklahoma got red hot while K-State hit the skids. OU shot 61.1% from the field in the second half compared to just 36% for K-State, and the Wildcats never found their stroke from three-point range the entire night. They went just 4-of-20 from deep, while the Sooners shot 47.8% from three for the game and were 5-of-7 after halftime.
Junior forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points in the losing effort, though he had just four in the second half. Senior guard Keyontae Johnson had a bounce-back scoring performance after he had just nine points of 3-of-11 shooting against Texas Tech. He poured in 14 points on 6-of-11 versus Oklahoma. Senior guard Markquis Nowell also had 14 points in the loss, but it took him 13 shots to get there.
Senior guard Grant Sherfield was the Sooners’ leading scorer with 22 points.
Turnovers were an issue against for K-State, too, although not to the same degree they have been in the Wildcats’ other conference losses. Kansas State committed 14 turnovers in the loss, three more than Oklahoma, after averaging nearly 18 giveaways in their first five Big 12 losses.
With the loss, K-State is 7-6 in league play and slips further out of the race for the Big 12 championship, now two games back of the leaders with just five games to go. Oklahoma, now 3-10 in Big 12 games, remains tied in last place in the standings with Texas Tech.
The Wildcats will return home this weekend for a top-20 matchup with the 19th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones, who are a half game up on Kansas State in the standings. That contest is set for a 1:00 p.m. tip on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
For more reaction to the Kansas State Wildcats 79-65 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, check out Mic’d Up with Jake and Fulton from noon-3:00 p.m., and 580 Sports Talk with Brendan and Dan from 3-6:00 p.m. Wednesday on 580 WIBW.