Signature win for OUs Lon Kruger. Congrats Sooners.
Press release below…
Oklahoma won 63-60 over No. 22/24 Kansas State in Lon Kruger’s return to Manhattan, Kan., and completed a regular season sweep of the Wildcats in the process. It was the first time Kruger coached inside Bramlage Coliseum in 22 years (was Kansas State’s coach from 1987-90).
• The Sooners won for just the second time in their last 21 conference road games. It was their first Big 12 road win over a top-25 AP opponent since Jan. 26, 2008 (won 77-71 at No. 25 Baylor).
• After OU got outrebounded by 20 in the first meeting against K-State two weeks ago (its largest deficit in 13 years), the Sooners held a rebounding lead most of the game tonight and finished with just a four-board deficit (33-29). They grabbed 10 offensive rebounds to K-State’s 11, but outscored the Wildcats 12-7 in second-chance points (KSU held a 25-5 advantage in second-chance points in Norman).
• Junior guard Steven Pledger was 11-for-17 from the field, 4-for-7 from 3-point range and 4-for-4 from the foul line en route to a 30-point night. It was his third-highest career scoring total and second highest in a regulation game (scored a career-high 38 in overtime win last year at Iowa State). All three of his career 30-point games have come away from home.
• Pledger scored 18 points in the first half and another eight in the final 5:30 of the second half. Tonight marked the 18th time in 19 games this year that Pledger scored in double figures.
• Pledger has made all 24 of his free throw attempts in Big 12 play and has converted 40 of his last 41 attempts going back to Dec. 10. He entered the game ranked 10th nationally in free throw percentage and is now shooting .906 on the year. Hollis Price (2003) holds the OU single-season record with a .929 free throw mark while John Ontjes (1994) ranks second at .867.
• In OU’s wins, Pledger is averaging 20.8 points on .578 field goal shooting. In losses, he is averaging 12.7 points on .333 shooting.
• Sophomore guard Cameron Clark was the only other Sooner who scored in double digits. He finished with 11 points and a team-high six rebounds. Three of his field goals came on alley-oop dunks.
• Junior forward Romero Osby was held to nine points and three rebounds (averaged 17.0 and 8.0 the previous five games), but contributed two blocks and two steals on defense. He also took two key charges in the final 3:37. Osby has taken five charges over the last two games to up his team-leading season total to 10.
• The OU point guard tandem of Sam Grooms (seven assists, one turnover) and Carl Blair (five assists, one turnover) combined for 12 assists and two turnovers. It was Grooms’ fourth straight game of one or zero turnovers (25 assists and three turnovers during the stretch).
• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald’s streak of 14 consecutive double-digit scoring games came to a halt with his three-point performance. He was held to one field goal on seven attempts.
• After starting the second half 1-for-5 from the free throw line (and having another make negated by a lane violation), OU went 10-for-10 the rest of the way (4-for-4 in the final nine seconds). It finished 15-for-20 (.750) on the night.
• OU won despite shooting just .400 from the field for the game and going 8-for-27 (.296) after halftime. K-State shot .412 on the night but went just 3-for-17 (.176) from 3-point distance. The Sooners also forced 20 Wildcat turnovers (tied a KSU season high) and outscored them 22-12 off those mistakes.
• Oklahoma is on the road again Wednesday for an 8 p.m. CT game against No. 5 Kansas. The