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Shooting Woes Plague K-State in Loss to 23/24 Oklahoma

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KStateSports.com) – On a night when it struggled offensively, Kansas State fought back from a 16-point halftime deficit to close to within single digits of No. 23/24 Oklahoma in the second half before falling 73-53 on Tuesday night before a crowd of 9,955 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

BOX SCORE

Behind the play of senior Tylor Perry, K-State (14-7, 4-4 Big 12) trimmed the double-digit deficit to 51-44 with 8:28 to play, as Perry was responsible for 13 of the Wildcats’ first 20 points of the second half. However, the home team could not get any closer, as Oklahoma (16-5, 4-4 Big 12) used a 12-1 run over the next 4:35 to prevent any further comeback en route to snapping a 2-game losing streak.

Perry was the lone Wildcat to register double figures, finishing the night with a game-tying 23 points on 7-of-16 field goals, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range, and 6-of-8 free throws in nearly 40 minutes. It was his 25th career 20-point game, including the sixth this season. Senior David N’Guessan narrowly missed double figures with 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

K-State could never get going offensively, as the Wildcats missed their first 11 field goal attempts and did not score until a free throw by N’Guessan with 11:48 remaining in the first half. N’Guessan broke the field goal drought with a turnaround jumper at the 10:30 mark.

The Wildcats fell behind by as many as 17 points (28-11) in the first half before cutting the deficit to 12 with 1:17 before halftime on a pair of free throws by redshirt freshman Dorian Finister. The Sooners scored the final 4 points to take a 35-19 advantage at the break.

The lead stood at 16 points with 18:14 to play before a Perry 3-pointer started a run of 20 of the next 31 points for K-State that cut the deficit to 51-44 with just over 8 to play. However, Oklahoma answered back with 12 of the next 13 to push back ahead by double digits and were never threatened again.

K-State connected on just 30.2 percent (16-of-53) of its field goals, including 14.3 percent (4-of-28) from 3-point range, in seeing its losing streak hit 3 games. It was the second-lowest field goal percentage of the season (26.7 vs. Nebraska), while the 16 made field goals tied for the season-low.

Oklahoma hit on 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the field, including 50 percent (13-of-26) in the first half in building a 16-point lead. The Sooners took advantage of 14 Wildcat turnovers, turning those into 19 points, while 40 of their 73 points came in the paint.  They also made 24 of 39 free throw attempts.

Four Sooners scored in double figures, including a pair of 20-point scorers in junior transfers Jalon Moore (23 points) and Javian McCollum (21 points). Moore finished 8-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, while McCollum was 6-of-13 from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Seniors Sam Godwin and Rivaldo Soares added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Oklahoma wins the last game in the series as conference opponents, as the schools will not meet again in the regular season. The Sooners now lead the series, 114-104, including 22-19 in the Big 12 era.

HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State got off to slow start for the third straight game, as Oklahoma took a 5-0 lead into the first media timeout at the 15:55 mark. The Wildcats trailed 8-0 before they scored their first point on a free throw by senior David N’Guessan with 11:49 left in the first half. They finally converted on a field goal at the 10:30 mark on a jumper by N’Guessan that cut the deficit to 12-3.

K-State was able to stay within striking distance with some solid defense, holding Oklahoma to 7-of-16 shooting from the field to trail 16-5 at the third media timeout at the 7:17 mark. However, the Sooners scored 5 of the next 7 points, including a 3-pointer from the corner from senior Rivaldo Soares, to take a 21-7 lead and force head coach Jerome Tang to take his first timeout at the 6:19 mark.

The Sooner lead grew to 25-9 at the final media timeout with 3:36 before halftime. The Wildcats were able to get a little something going offensively with back-to-back 3-pointers from redshirt freshman Taj Manning and senior Tylor Perry that cut the deficit to 29-17 and forced a timeout by Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser with 1:48 to play.

The Sooners were able to close out the half with 6 of the final 8 points to take a 35-19 lead into the break. Junior transfer Jalon Moore led all scorers with 15 points, as the visitor connected on 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field. The Wildcats shot just 23.1 percent (6-of-26) in the opening half, including 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from long range. N’Guessan and Perry each had 5 points.

The teams played even basketball for the first few minutes of the second half, as Oklahoma maintained its 16-point lead. A 3-pointer by Perry seemed to spark K-State offensively, as the Wildcats used a 10-5 run to cut the deficit to 45-34 near the 12-minute mark.

K-State continued to chip away at the lead behind the play of Perry, who got the Wildcats to within single-digits at 51-44 on a free throw with 8:28 remaining. However, Oklahoma struck back with 3 straight baskets to push back ahead 57-44 with under 7 to play.

Following a free throw by Manning, the Sooners scored 6 straight points to push the lead to 63-45 at the final media timeout with 3:53 to play. The lead grew to its largest at 20 points – 73-53 – after a pair of free throws by senior Le’Tre Darthard with 9 seconds left.

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
Opening statement…
“First of all, I want to thank our fans, they were incredible tonight. They brought energy, they gave us a chance. I apologize that I didn’t have our guys ready to play. This is not on them, this is on me. And we will do a better job.”

On the offensive struggles in the last 3 games…
“I don’t know, I’ll have to go back and look at film and see if there’s something there. Even though we hadn’t scored, when it was 8-0, I thought we were playing with good energy and we got good looks and we didn’t turn the ball over. That was the positive. Normally in the first media (timeout), we usually have three turnovers. We’re talking about the guys having to get the shots up, but we were actually getting shots up so I really wasn’t as concerned, but I will go back and look at all three games and figure out if there’s something that we need to do differently.”

On Oklahoma pulling away after K-State cut the lead…
“I’ll have to go back and look but I think there was a turnover, a live ball turnover and it was an offensive rebounding. They scored 19 points off our 14 turnovers. A lot of them were live ball (turnovers), it’s hard to defend that. Their offensive rebounds were loud. It was 12 to eight on the offensive glass as far as (second chance) points but it just seemed louder during the game. So, I have to go back and look at that.”

On bad shots versus not making shots…
“Some of it is not making shots but some of it is that we could move it one more. I know I’ve said this all year long, we are a really good catch-and-shoot team. We consistently do it at a high level in practice. It’s about recreating those shots for each other, because in this league everybody knows what you’re gonna run. You might put in something that catches them off guard here or there, but for the most part, you’re gonna run certain things and they all have a way to defend it. Then players have to make plays and make plays for each other. We’re not getting enough of that. So, we as a staff probably have to do a better job of helping them in that area.”

On if things are getting away from the team after going from 4-1 in conference play to 4-4…
“Well, first of all, things are not getting away from us. We’re in the best league in America, and I’ve said from the very beginning of the year that if you get nine wins in this league, you’re going to the NCAA tournament. So, nothing has changed for us, it’s just the order in which things happen. Sometimes people make a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. Eleven teams in our league have lost back to back games, six of them were consecutive on the road. So it happens, and it’s usually hard to beat teams on their home court, and our fans did a great job of giving us a chance. And this might’ve been just the second game at home where we just didn’t deliver offensively and give OU credit for that. They’ve lost three really close games where they had a lead, and then end up giving it up on their home court. So, they had a greater sense of urgency on the defensive end. I didn’t have our guys prepared for what they faced. Part of that is they have to make shots, but part of that is I have to do a better job.”

TEAM NOTES

  • K-State (14-7, 4-4 Big 12) lost its third straight game with a 73-53 defeat at the hands of No. 23/24 Oklahoma… It is the first 3-game losing streak of the Jerome Tang era.
  • Five of the Wildcats’ 7 losses have been to Top 25 teams, falling to 1-5 on the year.
  • Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 114-104, including 22-19 in the Big 12 era… K-State still leads the series, 65-38, at home, including 19-10 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • Today’s game will be the only regular-season meeting in 2024 and the last regular-season matchup as conference opponents.
  • The loss was just the third at home under Tang (25-3), including the second in Big 12 play.
  • K-State scored 53 points on 30.2 percent (16-of-53) shooting, including 14.3 percent (4-of-28) from 3-point range, and 68 percent (17-of-25) from the free throw line.
  • The 16 made field goals tied for a season-low and lowest under Jerome Tang.
  • K-State turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 19 points off turnovers by Oklahoma.
  • K-State lost the rebounding battle, 39-35, including 12 offensive rebounds by Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma held the advantages in points off turnovers (19-7), points in the paint (40-18), second-chance points (12-8), fast-break points (14-5) and bench points (12-10).
  • K-State started a lineup of senior Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma and senior David N’Guessan and senior Will McNair Jr. … It marked the 17th time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 57 games in his K-State career… Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started all 21 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their 19th starts, respectively.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Junior Tylor Perry was lone Wildcat to score in double figures with 23 points on 7-of-16 field goals, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range, and 6-of-8 free throws… It was his 25th career 20-point game, including his sixth this season.
  • It marked the first time since 2021 that only one player scored in double figures.
  • Perry scored his 23 points on 7-of-16 field goals, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range, and 6-of-8 free throws to go with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 39 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 72 career games, including 15 this season.
  • Senior David N’Guessan scored 9 points on 4-of-6 field goals and 1-of-2 free throws.

UP NEXT
K-State returns to the road for the third time in 4 games with a trip south to Stillwater, Okla., and Gallagher-Iba Arena to take on Oklahoma State (9-12, 1-7 Big 12) at 1 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now.

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