A Ryan Spangler block on DeAndre Kane was the deciding moment that gave the Oklahoma Sooners their 11th win of the season Saturday afternoon against the Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State was uncharacteristically sloppy all afternoon. The Cyclones average six turnovers per game but would have 13 turnovers against one of the worst defenses in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State looked uncomfortable from the opening tip and would trail by double-digits throughout much of the game.
Iowa State lost the game for three reasons. The primary reason were errors that resulted from double-teams implemented at the half-court by the Sooners. Iowa State had several unforced errors or near turnovers from players not looking up. Freshman Matt Thomas failed to look for the basketball in transition and found himself on the bench for most of the second half. Kane had a game-high 23 points, but he also turned the ball over seven times.
Not only was Iowa State’s offensive flow disrupted by their inability to maintain possession of the basketball, but the Cyclones also struggled on the defensive end. Iowa State was very slow in their rotation defensively which gave the Sooners open looks from three-point range. Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield were a combined 9-of-18 from three-point range. Whenever Iowa State would narrow the deficit, the Sooners were able to bury a wide open three-pointer to extend their lead.
When Oklahoma wasn’t making a three-pointer, they were getting offensive rebounds as they had 13 on the day. The Sooners only had a six rebound advantage as a team. Spangler was clearly irate on the afternoon and was jawing with Cyclone post-man Dustin Hogue on nearly every possession. Hogue and Spangler rank No. 1 and 2 respectively in rebounding in the Big 12, but on this day Spangler had 15 rebounds and Hogue had five.
Road wins are hard to come by in a loaded Big 12 Conference, and this is by no means a bad loss for the Cyclones. However, the Cyclones are treading in dangerous waters due to the war of attrition that took place Saturday afternoon. Spangler’s game-sealing block looked spectacular in live action. Immediately following the block, Kane hit the deck and started writhing in pain on the floor. The replay showed Kane’s ankle take a sharp bend which altered his shot and forced the fall. Kane had to be carried off the court by his teammates and would not return.
Iowa State can bounce back from a loss to Oklahoma, but they could potentially lose back-to-back games with Kansas coming to town Monday night. Based on the replay, Kane could likely miss Monday night’s matchup against Kansas due to the significant bend of his ankle. Kane is one of best point-guards in the country, and his absence would be crippling to one of the most complete teams this season.
Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyOCS.