Oklahoma knocked Iowa State from the ranks of the unbeaten with an 87-82 upset victory at the Lloyd Noble Center.
As CBS Sports points out, there are now only four remaining undefeated teams in college basketball:
Oklahoma 87, Iowa State 82. Final. And then there were four.— Eye on College BBall (@EyeOnCBB) January 11, 2014
Arizona, Syracuse, Wisconsin and Wichita State are the only Division I squads without a loss as of this writing.
The Cyclones entered the game as the No. 9 team in the nation thanks to a 14-0 start. They were coming off arguably their biggest win of the year with a 15-point victory over No. 7 Baylor.
However, the Sooners were simply too much offensively, and the unranked team was able to hold on for the upset. Sophomore Buddy Hield led the way with 22 points, and Ryan Spangler added 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Both DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim topped 20 points for Iowa State in the loss.
Oklahoma came into the game with a lot of confidence, and that showed early in the first half. Some excellent outside shooting had the Sooners up 39-31 shortly before halftime, although Iowa State was able to tie things up heading into intermission.
Still, this did not discourage the Sooners, as they once again built up a significant lead early in the second half. At this point in the game, ESPN's Jeff Goodman gave a lot of credit to coach Lon Kruger:
Any conversation about underrated coaches has to include Lon Kruger. Oklahoma now up 13 on undefeated Iowa State in Norman.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 11, 2014
The Cyclones once again came back and held a 77-76 lead, but this did not last long. The home team immediately went on an 11-0 run to go up 87-77 with less than a minute left to secure the win.
John Gasaway of ESPN points out that one of Iowa State's problems was a lack of patience down the stretch:
Iowa State went to the hail marys way too soon. Very surprised. Un-Hoiberg-like.— John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) January 11, 2014
Of course, a lot of credit has to go to Oklahoma, which hit 13 three-point shots in the win. The squad also dominated the rebounding battle 41-34.
After the game, Kruger discussed the victory that put the Sooners at 13-3 on the year, via ESPN:
Huge win, obviously. [Iowa State head coach] Fred [Hoiberg] does such a good job. They've got so many weapons. They space the floor and just make it awfully tough to guard. You've got to pick your poison sometimes. I'm really happy for our guys.
This win will remain on Oklahoma's resume and will certainly look good on Selection Sunday.
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma: A-
There were some negatives in the performance. He did force some shots and missed two free throws when Oklahoma was trying preserve the lead late in the second half.
However, Buddy Hield was still excellent overall, going 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. On a day where leading scorer Cameron Clark was not at his best, Hield took over the scoring against a very good opponent.
The sophomore is now averaging 20.7 points in the last three games and is becoming one of the better perimeter options in the conference. If he can keep this up, Oklahoma will be extremely difficult to beat.
Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma: A+
It is not often you see this much impact from a player who only had five field-goal attempts in the game. However, Ryan Spangler found a way to score 16 points and add 15 rebounds against one of the better frontcourts in the country.
The sophomore was aggressive on the offensive end to get to the foul line, and he was dominant on the defensive end to keep Iowa State's best players off the board. His two blocks energized the home crowd and the rest of his team, and he was the most valuable player on the court in this one.
With six double-doubles already this season, he is prepared to make a big impact down the stretch.
DeAndre Kane, Iowa State: B+
While he was easily the best player on the court for Iowa State, the team certainly had to be scared with the way things ended, as noted by Seth Davis of CBS Sports:
DeAndre Kane carried off the court as Iowa St loses at Oklahoma. Don't want to speculate but that does not look good.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 11, 2014
It is unknown how severe the injury is, but it is clear the Cyclones need him to be healthy going forward.
Before going down in the final minute, Kane had a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He also led the team with nine rebounds and four assists.
Unfortunately for Iowa State, he also had seven turnovers in the loss and missed five free throws.
Dustin Hogue, Iowa State: C+
Offensively, Dustin Hogue is rarely asked to do much. He averages a solid 12.3 points per game and managed 13 against Oklahoma to keep up that pace.
However, the forward could not do much on the boards in the loss, and it was part of the reason the Cyclones were outrebounded.
The junior snagged only five rebounds, well below his season average of 9.6 per game. Meanwhile, the Sooners got a number of second-chance attempts and made them count with easy putbacks.
If Hogue cannot rebound the way he did to start the year, Iowa State could be in trouble against bigger teams.
Things do not get any easier for Iowa State, as the team will host Kansas on Monday, Jan. 13. The Cyclones better learn how to recover quickly from a loss and come back strong against the No. 18 team in the country.
Oklahoma also has a tough upcoming matchup, as it will travel to face Kansas State on Jan. 14. After their biggest win of the year, the Sooners have to make sure to avoid getting overconfident.
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