Jan. 23, 2010
Courtesy of the Associated Press
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Short-handed and far from home, Oklahoma State did something it hadn’t done since Eddie Sutton played for the Cowboys.
James Anderson scored 30 points and Obi Muonelo hit two key 3-pointers in the final minutes Saturday, lifting underdog Oklahoma State to a 73-69 victory over No. 10 Kansas State. It had been just six days since the crestfallen Wildcats (16-3, 3-2 Big 12) beat No. 1 Texas on the same floor.
It had been 52 years since Oklahoma State (15-4, 3-2) beat a top 10 team on the road. Sutton, the former Oklahoma State coach, was a forward when the Cowboys beat No. 2 Kansas 52-50 in overtime in 1958.
“In this league, everybody knows what each other is going to do,” said Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, who decided on Thursday that point guard Ray Penn would sit out with a leg injury.
“But this Kansas State team is a great basketball team. It was just one of those nights.”
The victory over Texas in their previous game was just Kansas State’s third over a No. 1 team and boosted basketball fever among Wildcats fans to its highest point in decades. But after playing so well, the Wildcats were off their game in just about every respect.
“We missed 47 open shots. We didn’t get any offensive rebounds,” said coach Frank Martin. “We just missed shot after shot after shot. Didn’t make free throws, didn’t make lay-ups. Couldn’t catch the ball. I obviously didn’t do my job very well preparing this team to play.”
Were the Wildcats guilty of a letdown?
“I don’t want to hear that,” Martin said.
Kansas State sliced a six-point deficit to one on Curtis Kelly’s two free throws with 26.9 seconds to go. But the Wildcats fouled on each of their next two possessions. Nick Sidorakis iced the victory with a pair of free throws with 5 seconds to go in a rough-and-tumble game that included three technical fouls and 36 turnovers.
Anderson, the Big 12′s leading scorer, missed only one of 11 free throws and was 9 for 18 from the floor while tying his season high. He was nearly unstoppable even though the Wildcats double-teamed him every time he touched the ball, scoring 19 in the first half.
“I thought I had to start out strong from the beginning of the game and do whatever I could to let us be aggressive instead of them,” he said. “Ever since we started preparing for Kansas State, our main focus has been playing defense, rebounding the ball and stopping them in transition. That’s what we came out and did.”
Denis Clemente had 19 points for Kansas State and Curtis Kelly had 13.
Muonelo had 14 for Oklahoma State and hit a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma State a 61-56 lead. Then with 2:11 to go his 3-pointer put the Cowboys on top 66-60.
The loss snapped Kansas State’s 14-game winning streak in Bramlage Coliseum, their longest since the facility opened 22 years ago.
“Anybody can beat anybody,” said Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen. “You have to be consistent and you have to have everyone clicking and we just did not have that tonight.”
After Kelly’s two free throws made it 70-69, he was called for a foul during a struggle for a loose ball on the other end and Roger Franklin made one of two foul shots. Chris Merriewether was called for a foul under the Kansas State basket and Sidorakis went to the line for Oklahoma State.
Technical fouls were called against Kansas State’s Denis Clemente, Oklahoma State’s Matt Pilgrim and Martin.
“James Anderson stepped up and played like the leading scorer in this league. He played like the best player on his team,” said Martin. “He knew his point guard was down and he stepped up his play on short notice. That’s what good players do.”
Oklahoma State trailed by three points at halftime but opened the second half with a 10-1 run and silenced the sellout crowd when Anderson’s fastbreak bucket put the surprising Cowboys on top 42-36.