KANSAS CITY, Mo. (K-State) – Kansas State used a big second-half performance to erase a 10-point halftime deficit to 7-seed Texas, as the Wildcats snapped a 3-game losing streak at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 78-74 win over the Longhorns on Wednesday night before a sold-out crowd of 18,261 fans at the T-Mobile Center.

With the win, K-State (19-13) advances to the quarterfinal round on Thursday night when the Wildcats will take on 2-seed and No. 7/8 Iowa State (24-7) at 6 p.m., CT on ESPN2. The Wildcats are now 38-44 all-time at the Big Eight/12 Championship dating to 1977, including 18-26 at the Big 12 Championship

Trailing 39-29 at the half after shooting 37.5 percent from the field, K-State scored the first 7 points out of halftime en route to a 49-point second-half performance, in which, the Wildcats connected on 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the field with 26 points coming in the paint and just 2 turnovers.

The 49 points were the fourth-most scored in a second half this season and the most since recording 55 and 51 points, respectively, in consecutive games against Miami and Central Arkansas on Nov. 19 and 22, 2023. Senior Tylor Perry (12 points), junior Arthur Kaluma (12 points) and freshman Dai Dai Ames (10 points) combined for 34 of the 49 points in each scoring in double figures.

On the defensive end, the Wildcats held the Longhorns (20-12) to just 29 percent (9-of-31) shooting in the second half, including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from 3-point range, after they shot 57.1 percent (16-of-28) in the first half in building the 10-point advantage at the break.

In all, five Wildcats scored in double figures on the night, including a team-high 21 points from Perry, who collected his 30th career 20-point game and his team-leading 11th this season. Among his 21 points was a 10-of-10 effort from the free throw line, marking the third time this season that he has gone perfect from the line on 10 more attempts.

Kaluma finished with a near double-double with 14 points and a team-high 8 rebounds, while senior David N’Guessan posted 13 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Junior Cam Carter and Ames finished with 10 points each, as K-State moved to 4-0 this season when five players register double figures.

Despite the scoreless start to the second half, Texas held a 45-38 lead with just over 16 minutes to play after a 3-pointer by graduate Ithiel Horton. However, a jumper by Kaluma right before the first media timeout seemed to spark K-State, which used a 12-4 run to take a 50-49 lead on a layup by N’Guessan right before the media timeout with 11:22 to play.

The run continued out of the timeout, as the Wildcats scored 10 of the next 14 points to push the lead to 60-53 with 6:54 remaining. Ames started the stretch with a layup and a free throw followed by 5 points from Perry and a jumper from Kaluma.

The lead grew to 67-57 on a free throw by Carter with 4:28 to play, as the run expanded to 29-12.

Behind the play of senior Max Abmas, who led all scorers with 26 points, Texas used an 11-3 run to make one final push, closing the deficit to 70-68 with 22.2 seconds left. However, the Wildcats were able to salt away the victory with 6 straight free throws and a layup from Carter.

Abmas, who became the first Division I player with 3,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists, was joined in double figures by 14 from Horton and 13 from sophomore Dillon Mitchell. All-Big 12 First Team selection Dylan Disu was held to 9 points 9 rebounds in 23 minutes.

K-State connected on 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the field, including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from 3-point range, and 74.2 percent (23-of-31) from the free throw line. The Wildcats tied a season-low with 10 turnovers, including just 2 in the second half.

Texas finished the game at 42.4 percent (25-of-59) shooting, including 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from 3-point range, and 75 percent (18-of-24) from the free throw line.

K-State won the final meeting with Texas as Big 12 members and now leads the all-time series, 25-23, including 2-1 at the Big 12 Championship and 2-0 in Kansas City.

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