Williams’ hot shooting lifts K-State past Oklahoma St, 63-53
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Nino Williams would have fit right in during the era of short-shorts, when set shots were the norm and there was no such thing as a 3-point line.
Then again, Kansas State’s senior forward is doing just fine these days, too.
Williams kept pouring in jumpers while scoring 20 points, and the Wildcats led from start to finish in a 63-53 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.
”That midrange shot, he’s got it down,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said, ”and it’s not something – any midrange basketball – is not part of today’s basketball world.”
Marcus Foster and Justin Edwards added 14 points apiece for the Wildcats (12-8, 5-2 Big 12), who avenged a loss to the Cowboys earlier this month by winning for the fifth time in six games.
The Wildcats shot 57 percent from the field, going 12 of 16 in the second half.
”It’s a good team win,” said Williams, who was 10 for 13 from the field. ”Like coach said, everybody played well, everybody did something.”
Phil Forte scored 22 points and Le’Bryan Nash had 13, but the only other Cowboys player with more than one field goal was Michael Cobbins. He was 2 for 4 and had seven points.
”We have capable guys of stepping up. They’ve done it before, they’ve proven it,” Forte said. ”Just have to keep them believing, not get down on themselves.”
Oklahoma State (13-6, 3-4) still has not won at Bramlage Coliseum since 2010.
”There’s a lot of leagues we would have won the game today, even on our off day,” Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. ”Not in this league, not today.”
Williams had 12 points and Foster eight in the first half, nearly outscoring Oklahoma State by themselves. The Wildcats led the Cowboys 31-21 at the break.
The lead was a credit to Kansas State’s defense more than anything.
Foster spent the entire game in Forte’s back pocket, preventing the Big 12’s third-leading scorer from getting any open looks. The junior sharpshooter was 1 for 4 from the field in the first half, his only make a long 3-pointer, and managed just six points.
Things were a struggle for him right from the start. On the Cowboys’ first possession, Forte threw up an off-balanced jumper as the shot clock expired. Realizing it was off line, he tried to jump into a defender, but the officials refused to call the foul. Ford exploded on the sideline, earning a technical foul less than a minute into the game.
Foster made both free throws for the Wildcats, who were off and running.
Oklahoma State kept trying to whittle into its deficit in the second half, closing to 37-30 on Forte’s 3-pointer with 15:47 left, then within 42-35 on Nash’s jumper with 11:25 to go.
The high-scoring duo didn’t get a whole lot of help, though, and the more balanced Wildcats kept answering the call. Edwards continually got to the foul line, and big man Thomas Gipson’s back-to-back dunks down the stretch create some breathing room.
”We never made a run,” Ford said. ”Never made a big shot.”
Nash’s basket got Oklahoma State within 58-49 with 2:52 remaining, but a couple wasted chances followed by Edwards’ 3-pointer with just over a minute left put the game away.
”It’s a good confidence-booster,” Williams said, ”but it’s over now. On to the next game.”
Oklahoma State has not swept a season series from the Wildcats since 1994. … The Cowboys are 2-5 in true road games. … Nash has scored in double figures in 18 straight games.
Kansas State committed just one turnover in the first half. … The Wildcats honored former coach Tex Winter by renaming the road outside the arena ”Tex Winter Drive” prior to the game.
Kansas State improved to 42-5 at home under Weber, including 20-2 in Big 12 play. ”You have to defend the home court in this league,” he said.
Oklahoma State has struggled early in games, and this one was no exception. Kansas State led 8-2 after the first 3 minutes. ”It’s frustrating,” Ford said, ”but that’s life on the road.”
Oklahoma State returns home to face No. 21 Baylor on Tuesday night.
Kansas State continues its homestand Tuesday night against No. 18 West Virginia.