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OU Basketball: Oklahoma Ends Losing Skid, Upsets No. 12 Kansas State

The Sooners knocked down 11 3-pointers en route to a Valentine's Day upset at the Lloyd Noble Center.

NORMAN — Needing a win to shake a seven-game conference skid, Oklahoma showed signs of life.

Grant Sherfield hit a straightaway triple just before halftime to tie the game against Kansas State, and an early second half surge ensured the Sooners would never look back.

Porter Moser’s team rode the contributions from Sherfield, Milos Uzan and Tanner Groves to a 79-65 victory over the Wildcats on Tuesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

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Oklahoma (13-13 overall, 3-10 Big 12) outscored the No. 12-ranked Wildcats (19-7, 7-6) 12-2 immediately out of halftime, connecting on three quick 3-pointers to open a 10-point lead.

Kansas State responded with a pair of quick buckets to cut the lead back down to six, but that’s the closest Jerome Tang’s Wildcats would get the rest of the night.

“The guys came out in the second half, I thought our second-half defense was really good,” Moser said after the game. “They’re so hard to guard. They’re really tricky to guard. There’s a reason why they’re so good.

“I was proud of our guys at how we fought back after we got punched in the face. We’ve seen us get that snowballed in recent games, and we didn’t (tonight).”

The Sooners shot their way out of the team’s recent rut in Big 12 play.

OU made season-high 11 3-pointers, and the team connected on 48 percent of its triples on the night.

“I thought our offense was just really good tonight,” Groves said after the game. “It's a fun way to play basketball like that.

“When the ball is moving, everyone is getting touches and we're getting wide-open looks, it's hard to beat a team that can move the ball like that. Tonight it was really good. It's a lot of growth from our team from the last couple of games.”

Sherfield led the way, ending the night with 22 points on 3-of-7 shooting from deep, also pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out six assists. 

Crucially, Oklahoma paired the hot shooting night with an extra emphasis on taking care of the basketball.

In their last outing, the Sooners turned the ball over an astonishing 24 times against Kansas.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, and OU only committed 11 turnovers while forcing the Wildcats into 14 miscues.

“We were trying to do too much (against Kansas),” Moser said. “… It was night and day from the other day. We took so many bad twos going to the rim. Played off two feet a little bit more and got some inside-out passes.

“Way better with the turnovers.”

Three different Sooners joined Sherfield scoring double figures to round out a balanced attack.

Groves added an efficient 16 points while batting for six boards, while Uzan also scored 13 points and Jalen Hill added another 12.

Sophomore guard Bijan Cortes was the main scoring threat off the bench on Tuesday, scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.

The win kept Oklahoma from leaving the Lloyd Noble Center with sole possession of last place in the Big 12.

Texas Tech’s upset over Texas on Monday night left the Sooners and the Red Raiders knotted up at 3-10 in conference play as the Big 12 Tournament approaches.

OU will now head to Austin to take on the Longhorns on Saturday.

Tip-off between Oklahoma and Texas will be at 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Needing another win to make a dramatic late push for postseason play, the Sooners are already focused on the task at hand.

“Once Coach was done talking (in the locker room), we broke it up after that and my mind was already to the next one,” Groves said. “We've gotta get ready for the next one. Where we're sitting at in terms of standings and where we're at in the season, we know that we need to pick up a couple more wins coming up.

“Especially us being older guys, I think our minds are already to the next one. We're focused on trying to turn the page and keep going.”

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