By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Marcus Foster scored 17 points, Nino Williams made two free throws with 5.7 seconds left and Kansas State held off No. 6 Oklahoma State 74-71 on Saturday in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Williams finished with 15 points, none bigger than his two free throws that gave the Wildcats (11-3, 1-0) a three-point lead. Marcus Smart of the Cowboys raced up court and threw up a running 3-point try as the final buzzer sounded, but it clanked harmlessly off the rim and fell to the court.
Thomas Gipson added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas State, which has won nine straight after losing to the likes of Northern Colorado and Charlotte earlier in the season.
Le'Bryan Nash scored 20 points, Markel Brown finished with 16 and Smart added 15 for the Cowboys (12-2, 0-1), who were plagued by foul trouble after already missing two of their key players.
Michael Cobbins, their best big man, sustained a season-ending Achilles injury on Monday, and freshman guard Stevie Clark -- their second-leading scorer off the bench -- did not play after he was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession on Wednesday.
It was a crippling start to the Big 12 season for Oklahoma State, which is hoping to challenge perennial favorite Kansas for the conference title. But it couldn't have been a much better beginning for the Wildcats, who tied the Jayhawks for the regular-season championship a year ago.
The Wildcats, who've made a habit of pummeling opponents during their win streak, tried to wear down the short-handed Cowboys in the first half. They pawed and pressed and got physical with Smart and Nash as much as possible, and both of them were clearly frustrated.
Both of them also picked up two fouls late in the first half.
Kansas State was unable to take advantage of the brief stretch in which both sat on the bench, though. Foster scored in the waning seconds of the half to put the Wildcats in front, but the Cowboys raced up court and Brown managed to curl in a layup at the buzzer for a 38-37 lead.
The senior dished a bit of attitude at the Kansas State student section as he left the floor.
Oklahoma State tried to extend the lead early in the second half, and Smart's dunk and foul with about 13 1/2 minutes left provided a cushion. But Smart decided to do a chin-up on the rim and slap the backboard after his slam, and he was hit with a technical -- his fourth foul of the game.
While he took a seat, the Wildcats started to gather momentum.
Shane Southwell hit a 3 from in front of his own bench to knot the game 52-all with just over 9 minutes left, his first points of the game. A few minutes later, Nash picked up his fourth foul, and Cowboys coach Travis Ford put Smart back in the game.
The Wildcats went right at him, and Smart wisely backed down on a couple of occasions to avoid picking up his fifth foul. That allowed the Wildcats to surge ahead, taking a 65-60 lead when Foster slashed through the lane and curled in a layup with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
That matched the biggest lead of the game for either team.
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