NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma didn’t have much time to dwell on a close loss Wednesday night, not with undefeated and seventh-ranked Iowa State coming to town.
But that was a good thing for OU sophomore Ryan Spangler. Coming off a tough performance against Kansas, Spangler was out to make a point.
Mission accomplished. Spangler scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to help the Sooners to an 87-82 upset win against the Cyclones on Saturday afternoon.
Saddled with foul trouble against the Jayhawks, Spangler was able to play in control but still with the passion and intensity that has helped make him such a vital part to the team.
Spangler entered the second half with zero fouls and played with purpose scoring 12 points and hauling in 10 of his rebounds during the final 20 minutes.
“He does a great job of wedging and using his body in there,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He doesn’t have great explosiveness, but he was the difference underneath today because of his ability to get them second-chance opportunities.”
OU led for the majority of the second half, holding multiple 13-point leads midway before the Cyclones made a late charge. A three-pointer by Melvin Ejim gave Iowa State a 77-76 lead with 2:39 left in the game. OU countered with an 11-0 run to put the game away.
Normally one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country, it was actually OU that shot better from the line. The Sooners (13-3, 2-1) drained 13 of 30 3-point attempts, while the Cyclones could only manage 6 of 26.
A lot of those conversions were from sophomore guard Buddy Hield. Iowa State (14-1, 2-1) ended the first half on an 8-0 run to tie it at 39, but Hield quickly turned the tide back to the Sooners. He hit three early 3-pointers en route to scoring 14 of his team-high 22 points in the second half.
“Games are going to be tough,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “Iowa State had the momentum, and we had to check ourselves, line back up and see if we could go back out and claim the lead and our guys did that.”
Sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins also came up huge for OU, knocking down three 3-pointers and finishing with 17 points.
Iowa State was paced by DeAndre Kane’s 23 points and nine rebounds, while Ejim added 21 points.
The win was crucial for the Sooners, who had lost their previous two home games. Now at 2-1 in the conference, OU hits the road at Kansas State on Tuesday and Baylor next Saturday. In other words, it doesn’t get any easier.
“We needed this one,” Hield said. “This win was a must-win for us. We had to come out and execute our game plan. We just had to find a way to win the game at the end, and we did.”