• Key play: Shane Southwell hit a three that sparked a 12-2 run and put K-State ahead 24-19.
• Key stat: K-State made 31.3 percent of its shots.
• Key play: Rodney McGruder threw down an alley-oop dunk from Angel Rodriguez that helped K-State pull ahead at the start of the second half.
• Key stat: Jordan Henriquez played 22 minutes by game’s end.
K-State was at its best when it pushed the ball. The Wildcats surged ahead for the first time in the first half on a quick 12-2 run that featured quick passes and aggressive shots early into possessions. Shane Southwell hit a three, Angel Rodriguez hit a layup after a D.J. Johnson steal, Rodney McGruder and Martavious Irving both hit threes and Rodriguez finished it off with a steal and layup.
Then, in the second half, K-State scored the first six points for a commanding 11-point lead.
Most of the season, the Wildcats have relied on their methodical motion offense for points. But they scored 16 points in transition and 11 points off turnovers.
• Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart didn’t wait at midcourt to shake hands with Will Spradling after being introduced with the starting lineup, as most players do during the postseason. It was unclear whether he was trying to send a signal to K-State following their physical game last weekend or simply wanted to rejoin his team for a pregame huddle, but he was the only Oklahoma State player who didn’t greet K-State before tip-off.
• Shane Southwell rebounded from a string of down games by scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds.
• K-State didn’t shoot well from the field, but it did make 17 of 21 free throws.
• K-State is now 11-16 at the Big 12 tournament. This will be its fifth appearance in a conference tournament championship game.
| Kellis Robinett, firstname.lastname@example.org