NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Kelvin Sampson changed starting lineups. He
switched to a zone defense.
The Oklahoma coach even ditched his favorite denim-blue shirt,
looking for anything that might snap his slumping Sooners out of
"It wasn't working for me, man," Sampson said of the shirt
after Oklahoma (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) ended its longest losing streak in five years
with a 61-49 victory over Kansas State on Saturday.
Sampson flashed a wan smile when asked if he would don the
crimson-colored silk sweater again.
"I'm going to give this one another shot," he said.
The Sooners (11-4, 1-3 Big 12) won, in part, because senior
forward Jason Detrick finally started taking shots.
Detrick, hampered most of the season by an abdominal strain and
the effects of a concussion, broke out of a shooting slump to score
24 points. In the previous three games, Detrick had scored a total
of 20 points on 21 shots.
His emergence helped Oklahoma pick up a win it desperately
needed after getting off to its worst start in conference play
since Billy Tubbs' first season as coach here in 1980.
"He hasn't been the same kid since the concussion," Sampson
said. "We didn't get him back until this week."
The Sooners hadn't won in three weeks, a four-game skid with an
average margin of 18 points. Before Saturday's game, it was
announced that starting forward Kevin Bookout would miss the rest
of the season after deciding to have shoulder surgery.
Kansas State (9-6, 1-3) proved to be the perfect tonic for
Detrick and the struggling Sooners.
"Our backs were to the wall," Detrick said. "It's been a long
21 days. It feels real good to get a win right now."
Detrick went 8-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-6 from
3-point range. But he was the only Sooner to score in double
figures as Oklahoma continued its offensive struggles.
The Sooners shot just 36 percent -- about right for the worst
shooting team in the Big 12 -- yet still found a way to win against
a team that mostly plays with a lineup featuring no player taller
"We didn't shoot the ball well, but I thought we played well,"
Sampson said. "We've been changing some things up and sliding
players around to find out what works best for us."
The change to the zone defense, though, gave Kansas State the
Kansas State finished with more turnovers (21) than field goals
(18), and Oklahoma never led by fewer than 11 points in the second
Wildcats point guard Frank Richards struggled mightily against
the zone, finishing with no points, six turnovers and three
"It was not just one guy having trouble against the zone,"
Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "It was a multitude of
guys trying to play against it and that was the story of the
Jarrett Hart, who transferred from Oklahoma after his freshman
season in 1999-00, had 16 points for Kansas State.
The Wildcats have lost 18 consecutive road games in the Big 12.