In a top-10 matchup on Saturday at a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum, No. 7 Kansas State lost to No. 10 Texas 69-66 despite having a last-second chance to tie the game at the buzzer.
Kansas State took an 8-7 lead with 15:34 left in the first half when guard Cam Carter made a layup in transition, which was helped by backup point guard Desi Sills poking the ball out of the grasp of Texas’ Timmy Allen.
Star Kansas State wing Keyontae Johnson was tagged with two personal fouls just a couple of minutes into the game. But Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang elected to bring Johnson back into the game later in the first half, which resulted in his star forward getting whistled for his third foul with 5:21 left in the first half.
Kansas State then opened up a 23-14 lead when Sills buried a step-back 3-pointer over the outstretched hands of a Texas defender on the wing with 8:04 left in the first half. With 2:17 left in the first half, K-State forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin made free throws to put Kansas State ahead 34-20 after being fouled by Texas reserve Brock Cunningham on a shot attempt near the rim.
Kansas State didn’t have a field goal in the final 4:13 of the first half, but because Texas shot an abysmal 11 percent from the field in the first half the Longhorns weren’t able to get into serious striking distance before the final horn of the first half.
A foul on Tykei Greene with about three seconds left in the first half sent Texas’ Sir’Jabari Rice to the free throw line. He made the two free foul shots to make the game an 11-point difference at the break, in favor of K-State.
The Longhorns converted on their first five shots from the field in the second half, including a 3-pointer to make it a 40-36 game when Tomlin was called for a charge with 16:42 left in the second half. Allen went to the free throw line after being fouled by Markquis Nowell, but he missed 1-of-2 free throws, making it a 40-37 game.
Bishop scored another bucket through contact — though no foul was called — to give Texas a 43-49 lead with about 9:00 left in the game. On the next possession, Rice drilled a top-of-the-key triple to put the Longhorns ahead by six points at 56-50.
Kansas State made it a 62-60 game when Tomlin grabbed an airballed jumper by Nowell out of the air and put it up off the glass for a layup. But Texas guard Tyrese Hunter responded quickly with a layup on the other end to put Texas back ahead four points. The Wildcats then lost possession because of an illegal screen call on Nowell.
Coming out of a timeout, Nowell drilled a deep 2-point jumper to tie the game at 64 with about 3:00 left in the game. Iyiola then took a charge on Bishop on the other end, giving K-State the ball back with a chance to take the lead. But Johnson missed a contested baseline jumper, and Rice grabbed the rebound.
Rice was fouled while grabbing a defensive rebound by Johnson — his fourth foul of the game — on the next Texas possession. But Rice, and 84 percent free throw shooter, was only able to split the free throws, resulting in Texas taking a 65-64 with just over two minutes left.
Nowell gave the Wildcats the lead at 66-65 while hitting a runner with the right hand over Carr. Bishop followed with a layup around Iyiola on the other end to put K-State up 67-66 with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
On the ensuing Kansas State possession, Nowell missed a layup with 20 seconds left on the clock with Bishop getting a hand on it for a blocked shot. But Johnson scrambled to get the loose ball before giving it back to Nowell who made a poor pass, which was stolen by Allen.
Forced to foul, K-State sent Rice to the line with nine seconds left, where he made a pair of free throws to give Texas a 69-66 lead.
Kansas State falls to 18-5 overall on the season and 6-4 in the Big 12. The Wildcats have lost three consecutive Big 12 games. Texas remains in sole possession of first place in the Big 12, improving to 8-2 in the league.
Kansas State is back in action on Tuesday against TCU. The Horned Frogs lost to Oklahoma State 79-73 on Saturday, but they beat Kansas State 82-68 earlier this season in Fort Worth.
TCU”s MIke Miles (knee) and Eddie Lampkin (Achilles tendon) have both missed time in the last few games with injuries — and neither played on Saturday in the loss on the road at Oklahoma State.
The Horned Frogs have lost two of three games, including a loss at SEC basement dweller Mississippi State.