NORMAN, Okla. – It is not a secret that the No 4. Oklahoma (20-4, 9-3) squad has been struggling as of late. Fresh off of their loss to in-state rival Oklahoma State, the Sooners used a second-half emotional high to knock-off Kansas State (10-13, 4-8), 73-62.
In an attempt to shake things up, Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson made some changes to the starting lineup. Due to his aggressive play and strong work ethic, junior Jozsef Szendrei replaced sophomore Jabahri Brown as the starting center. Szendrei did not disappoint as he recorded two points and five rebounds in the first four minutes of play.
Szendrei was not the only new face among the starters for the Sooners. Jason Detrick's offensive production off of the bench prompted Sampson to replace struggling junior guard, Ebi Ere. Detrick provided instant production and was named the game's MVP.
"Coach just gave me an opportunity, and any time you get a chance like that you just have to go out and make the best of it," Detrick said.
The first half was strangely competitive. Poor effort by the Sooners allowed the Wildcats to make a 7-0 run and take an 11-9 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining until the intermission.
Despite their poor first-half shooting (36 percent), the Sooners held a 35-31 halftime advantage. Detrick was the main contributor with 15 points before the break, including a three-pointer right before the halftime buzzer to give the Sooners a 35-32 lead.
In the second half, sparked by emotional defensive play, Oklahoma was able to pull together a solid lead with a 23-5 run that lasted over an approximate span of nine minutes.
"They were too much for us in the second half and their athleticism caught up with us," Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "That one little stretch, that was the killer."
Within that run, an electrifying Price to Detrick alley-oop further ignited the team and helped push the lead to 54-40.
From that point on, it was all Oklahoma.
The Sooners showed flashes of the type of play the team was accustomed to in December and January. Leading by as much as 17, the explosive offense was impressive in the second half and Oklahoma went on to win 73-62.
Oklahoma junior Ebi Ere seemed to gain confidence as the second half progressed. Ere had been slumping of late, but finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds.
The most important contributors were junior Jason Detrick and senior Aaron McGhee. Detrick finished with a career-high 21 points (3-6, three-point FG) and five rebounds in just his fourth start of the season.
McGhee was unstoppable in the second half and finished the contest with 22 points.
Kansas State's Larry Reid was his team's top scorer with 14. Matt Siebrandt, Parvis Pasco and Tony Atchison each chipped in 12 points for the Wildcats. With the loss, Kansas State dropped to 0-8 on the road this season.
Oklahoma travels to Waco on Tuesday to face Baylor. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST.
KANSAS STATE (10-13)
DeJesus 0-4 0-0 0, Siebrant 5-8 2-2 12, Pasco 5-9 2-3 12, Reid 5-14 2-2 14, Williams 1-2 6-6 8, Buchanan 2-3 0-0 4, Da Barrosa 0-0 0-0 0, Atchison 4-9 3-3 12, Canby 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 15-16 62.
McGhee 8-11 6-7 22, Szendrei 1-1 0-2 2, White 2-4 1-3 6, Detrick 7-12 4-4 21, Price 3-11 0-0 7, Ere 5-15 2-2 13, Cano 0-1 0-0 0, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-2 0-1 2, Selvy 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 13-19 73.
Halftime-Oklahoma 35-32. 3-point goals-Kansas State 3-12 (Reid 2-4, Atchison 1-3, Williams 0-1, Buchanan 0-1, DeJesus 0-3). Oklahoma 6-22 (Detrick 3-6, White 1-3, Ere 1-6, Price 1-6, Cano 0-1). Fouled out-Reid. Rebounds-Kansas State 27 (DeJesus 6), Oklahoma 37 (Szendrei, Ere 8). Assists-Kansas State 8 (Reid, Williams, Canby 2), Oklahoma 17 (Price 5). Total fouls-Kansas State 19, Oklahoma 16. A-11,317.
McGhee, Detrick lead Sooners past KSU
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