Feb. 20, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)--Denis Clemente scored 27 points and led a 3-point barrage by No. 7 Kansas State, propelling the Wildcats to an 83-68 victory against scuffling Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Wildcats (22-4, 9-3 Big 12) won their fifth straight away game and assured themselves of a winning road record in conference play for the first time since the 1987-88 season. In the process, they kept top-ranked Kansas from clinching at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.
Tommy Mason-Griffin scored 16 points and fellow freshman Andrew Fitzgerald matched his career-high with 14 points as Oklahoma (13-13, 4-8) lost its fourth straight game. The Sooners played without leading scorer Willie Warren for the fourth time in eight games, first because of a sprained ankle and then mononucleosis.
Clemente hit five of his first seven 3-pointers, including a pair that he bracketed around another 3 by Jamar Samuels during a quick 9-0 burst that put Kansas State up by double digits for the first time at 59-49 with 12:41 to play.
Dominique Sutton added another 3-pointer to finish an eight-point run that extended K-State's advantage to 71-55 with 8:05 remaining. At that point, the Wildcats had hit 10 of their first 17 shots from 3-point range against an Oklahoma defense with the worst 3-point defense in the Big 12. They finished 10-for-20.
In the final minutes, many of Oklahoma's fans started heading upstairs and toward the door while a vocal contingent of Kansas State fans decked out in purple filtered down to take their seats.
Jacob Pullen, Clemente's partner in one of the nation's most explosive backcourts, and Curtis Kelly added 14 points as both teams had five players reach double figures. Samuels scored 12 and Sutton had 11.
Cade Davis and Tony Crocker scored 11 for Oklahoma while Tiny Gallon added 10 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four steals. The Sooners opened a final regular season stretch with all five of their opponents in the Top 25 this week, beginning with the Wildcats and then top-ranked Kansas on Monday night.
Fitzgerald missed a pair of free throws on back-to-back possessions just before Kansas State started to sneak away in the second half. Had he hit the first two, the Sooners could have taken the lead. Instead, they quickly fell behind.
The victory gave Frank Martin 65 in his first three seasons at Kansas State, breaking the mark held by Lon Kruger for the best three-year start at the school. He's also led the Wildcats to their highest ranking since 1962.
K-State pulled ahead at halftime with the last in a series of back-and-forth runs. Clemente had a pair of driving layups during a string of 12 straight points for the Wildcats, and his 3-pointer made it 35-31 in the final minute of the first half.
Oklahoma finally broke a 5-minute scoreless stretch when Crocker hit two free throws after getting fouled 90 feet from the basket as Pullen dove into him while trying to corral a loose ball.
The Sooners held their largest lead of the first half at 31-23 after an 11-3 run that featured three baskets by Fitzgerald.