K-State visits Oklahoma in search of first Big 12 win
Buddy Hield's numbers are staggering, but the one he cares most about resides in Oklahoma's loss column.
The star guard looks to draw positives from a career night -- one that still left the second-ranked Sooners with their first loss -- when Kansas State visits Norman on Saturday.
The Wildcats are the only team to win at the Lloyd Noble Center in 25 games since Feb. 22, 2014, and they've taken four of the past six there.
This time, though, they have to contend with a red-hot Hield.
The senior's performance in Monday's showdown at No. 1 Kansas had almost everything: career highs of 46 points, 13 made field goals and eight made 3s, along with eight rebounds and a career high-tying seven assists.
The only thing missing: A victory, as Kansas came out on top 109-106 in three overtimes.
"I wish I had one more overtime," Hield said. "I just hate losing."
While the Jayhawks momentarily retained the top spot in the Big 12, Oklahoma (12-1, 1-1) took its first step back. Hield, though, should give the Sooners a good chance to get back on track.
The guard is averaging 26.3 points, and his 46 against Kansas tied the total of Iona's A.J. English for the most by a Division I player this season. Hield has scored at least 20 in seven straight games, making him the first Sooner to do so since Corey Brewer from 1997-98.
He's scored at least 30 five times, while the rest of the Big 12 has combined for six such individual efforts. Hield's 31.0 points over seven games since Dec. 12 tops the nation in that span.
Still, it was another total that has dominated Hield's mind this week: Two turnovers in the final 19 seconds against the Jayhawks.
"I'm still mad," Hield said in an interview Tuesday. "I had two careless mistakes where I didn't execute down the line. My team needed me to do that and I fell short."
Hield has averaged 21.0 points in the last three meetings in this series, though Kansas State won the last two.
Hield (50.0 percent) and Jordan Woodard (55.2) lead an Oklahoma team that's shooting 45.7 percent from 3-point range, the nation's second-best mark behind Kansas' 46.3.
Kansas State (10-4, 0-2) entered Friday as the top team in the country defending the 3-pointer at 24.6 percent. The Wildcats have been even better in the past four games, limiting opponents to 19.3 percent.
But the Wildcats -- who allow just 63.2 points per contest -- lost the final two of those for a winless start to Big 12 play. Kansas State followed an 87-83 double-overtime loss to West Virginia on Dec. 2 with Tuesday's 60-57 defeat at Texas.
"It's obviously disappointing that we had another game slip through our fingers at the end," coach Bruce Weber told the team's official website.
Kansas State -- with three losses to schools that are currently ranked -- has won five of the last six in this series.