By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star
• Key play: Markel Brown went coast-to-coast for a layup that gave Oklahoma State a 38-37 lead just before halftime.
• Key stat: Kansas State made 10 of 13 free throws.
• Key play: Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart missed a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer.
• Key stat: Oklahoma State made two of nine shots from three-point range.
Much will be made of Oklahoma State starters Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart dealing with foul trouble (they both finished with four fouls) but K-State dealt with the same problem.
Senior guard Shane Southwell picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and spent most of the first half on the bench. Then he committed a foul at the start of the second half and ultimately fouled out.
K-State coach Bruce Weber said it was difficult for K-State to play without one of its senior leaders, but Southwell managed to help in the second half, scoring six important points.
• When Southwell went out with two quick fouls, reserve forward Nino Williams was asked to replace him. Williams took advantage of the extra playing time by scoring 15 points and grabbing three rebounds.
Earlier this week, Weber said Williams was a perfect example of a “team player” who cares more about playing well than playing time. He showed why Saturday, scoring 10 points in the first half and sinking key free throws late.
This isn’t the first time Williams has played well against Oklahoma State, either. Last year, he helped K-State down the Cowboys in the conference opener with a similar performance.
“I feel like when I get a chance to play, I can prove myself against them,” Williams said. “I think they respect me now, because every time we play them, I play well.”
• K-State students didn’t have much sympathy for Smart when he fell to the ground following a brush with Thomas Gipson in the first half. On the play, Smart was trying to steal the ball from Gipson and exaggerated the contact between them by falling to the ground. Students began chanting “You’re a flopper,” and continued yelling the phrase whenever Smart held the ball.
• K-State’s win over Oklahoma State was its 12th win over a top 10 opponent at Bramlage Coliseum … K-State’s nine-game winning streak is its longest since 2010, when it won 10 in a row.
To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/KellisRobinett.