Austin Reaves scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half to lift Oklahoma to a 66-61 victory against Kansas State in a Big 12 Conference opener on Saturday afternoon in Norman, Okla.
The Sooners (10-3, 1-0 Big 12) have been dangerous in the second half this season at home. Saturday’s game marked the fifth time in six home games that the Sooners have rallied to win after being tied or trailing at intermission.
Against the Wildcats, the tides started to turn when Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger went to a zone defense to try to slow down Xavier Sneed.
Sneed came out of halftime hot, scoring 12 points in the first 9:01 of the half to help Kansas State to a 10-point lead.
But he didn’t score again the rest of the way, and the Wildcats didn’t score in the final 3:45 as OU closed with a 12-0 run to put the game away.
Reaves, a transfer from Wichita State, helped the Sooners get back into the game by scoring seven consecutive points shortly after Sneed’s last bucket.
Oklahoma struggled from 3-point range most of the day, but Reaves hit three from behind the arc in the final 10:05 to spark the Sooners.
The third one put Oklahoma up 63-61, giving the Sooners their first lead since late in the first half.
The Sooners finished 5-of-23 from behind the 3-point line, with players other than Reaves going 1-of-15.
Sneed led the Wildcats with 22 points, including five 3-pointers. But he missed his last five shots — all from 3-point distance.
Kristian Doolittle, back after missing a game for disciplinary reasons, added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Sooners.
The game was tight throughout the first half before the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run early in the second half.
After Alondes Williams’ three-point play pulled the Sooners within two in the opening minute, Oklahoma went more than five minutes without scoring. The Sooners missed 12 consecutive shots during the drought — seven from behind the arc — as Kansas State extended its lead to 44-33 before Oklahoma began its push.
—Field Level Media