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Wildcats fall to Oklahoma in overtime

By The Mercury

A furious fourth quarter comeback by No. 25 Kansas State gave the Wildcats a late lead, but No. 20 Oklahoma knocked down a late 3-pointer to send the game to overtime and hold off the Wildcats’ upset bid, 85-80. The Sooners have now won 10 straight games at the Lloyd Noble Center over K-State.

K-State (11-4, 1-2 Big 12) had five players in double figures led by a career-high from junior guard Karyla Middlebrook with 27 points and seven rebounds. Senior center Breanna Lewis added 15 points and six rebounds. Freshman Eternati Willock added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) had four players in double figures led by guard Maddie Manning with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Gabby Ortiz added 16 points including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma turned a onepoint lead into an 11-point lead, 20-9, with a 12-2 run midway through the first quarter. The Sooners ended the quarter with a 25-12 lead, knocking down five 3-point field goals in the opening period with three coming from Gabby Ortiz.

K-State picked up its defensive effort in the second quarter and held the Sooners to just eight points to pull to within seven at the half, 33-26. Shaelyn Martin drained a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter, including a buzzer-beater to end the half. Martin entered Wednesdaynight’sgame with just three 3-pointers for the season.

The Wildcats shot 30.3 percent (10-of-33) from the floor in the opening half and held Oklahoma to a 36.4 percent (12-of-33) effort. The Sooners had a 26-22 edge on the glass, but K-State forced 11 Oklahoma turnovers.

The Sooners were able to build their lead to 11 on three occasions in the third quarter, but the Wildcats continued to hang around. K-State cut the deficit to six with 2:56 left in the frame as Middlebrook finished a transition layup and Eternati Willock converted a pair of free throws. Oklahoma increased the lead to 10, 54-44, entering the fourth quarter.

K-State used a 10-3 run to record a 63-61 lead with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter. Lewis scored four points during the run including the layup to give the Wildcats the lead. After Oklahoma tied the game at 63 on a Manning jumper, Lewis converted another layup to give K-State a 65-63 lead with 43 seconds left.

Middlebrook made two free throws with 28 seconds left, but a Ortiz made a three-pointer with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 67. Middlebrook was unable to knock down a 14-foot jumper to win the game. The Wildcats outscored the Sooners, 23-13, in the final quarter to pull even.

Manning knocked down a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma a 72-69 lead in the opening minute of overtime. The Sooners continued to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length for the remainder of the overtime period, as K-State never got closer than three points in the final two minutes of the extra session.

K-State shot 41.8 percent (28-of-67) from the floor and Oklahoma tallied a 44.6 percent (33-of-74) effort. K-State held a 45-42 edge on the boards, ending a 31-game win streak when leading in rebounds.

K-State returns to Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday to begin a twogame home stand. The Wildcats will host Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and will be available on the K-State Sports Network.

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