It wasn't pretty, but any win in March is good enough.
Ebi Ere scored 15 points in the second half as fourth-ranked Oklahoma overcame a one point halftime deficit to slip past a pesky Kansas State bunch in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament Friday night in Kansas City.
After taking an early 14-4 lead in the first five minutes behind the three-point shooting of Hollis Price, Oklahoma struggled to find their shooting touch while committing 12 turnovers the rest of the way in the first half .
The Sooners came out strong in the second half using an 18-6 run to take a 42-31 lead. The Wildcats responded with a 5-0 run, but the Sooners pushed the lead back to 47-36 with a 5-0 run of their own to break the game open for good.
Ere, who scored a game-high 20 points, gave the Sooners their largest lead at the 6:05 mark when he conveted a three-point play to give Oklahoma a 61-46 lead.
Oklahoma was dominant on the boards outrebounding the Wildcats 54-30, and fell one rebound short of the all-time Big 12 conference tournament record of 55 set by Texas in the 200 tournament.
Aaron McGhee led the Sooners with 16 rebounds while Ere chipped in 11.
Price was OU's second-leading scorer with 13 points, despite his 4-of-15 shooting effort. Price hit his first three attempts behind the arc to start the game, but missed his last eight the rest of the way.
Oklahoma's tough defense held the Wildcats to just 34 percent shooting (17-50), and held leading scorer and Midwest City native Larry Reid to just eight points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Nick Williams led the Wildcats with 15 points.
The Sooners now advance to tomorrow's second Big 12 semi-final matchup against Texas, who advanced by beating Missouri, 89-85, late Friday night. Top-seeded and top-ranked Kansas will play fifth-seeded Texas Tech in the first game. Tip-off for OU's semi-final matchup is schedule for 3:20 p.m.
KANSAS STATE (13-16)
DeJesus 1-7 0-0 3, Siebrandt 4-6 5-6 13, Pasco 2-8 6-9 10, Reid 3-15 2-4 8, Williams 6-8 1-2 15, Buchanan 0-0 0-0 0, Da Barrosa 0-2 0-0 0, Sulic 0-0 0-0 0, Atchison 1-4 0-0 3, Canby 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-50 14-21 52.
McGhee 2-9 3-6 7, Brown 2-7 1-2 5, Ere 7-17 5-10 20, White 2-8 0-0 5, Price 4-15 2-2 13, Detrick 1-5 4-4 6, Selvy 3-4 0-0 7, Szendri 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-65 15-24 63.
Halftime-Kansas St. 25, Oklahoma 24. 3-Point goals-Kansas St. 4-14 (Williams 2-3, Atchison 1-3, DeJesus 1-4, Reid 0-4), Oklahoma 6-21 (Price 3-11, Selvy 1-1, White 1-3, Ere 1-6). Fouled out-Siebrandt. Rebounds-Kansas St. 30 (DeJesus 5, Pasco 5), Oklahoma 54 (McGhee 16). Assists-Kansas St. 7 (DeJesus 4), Oklahoma 11 (White 5). Total fouls-Kansas St. 22, Oklahoma 21.
Sooners survive and advance with win over KSU
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