The Kansas State hoops team didn’t end the 2014 portion of their schedule like they had hoped – with two blown leads that led to two losses.
Against Texas Southern, the Wildcats allowed the visitors to score six straight points in the final seconds to came away with a 58-56 win.
With 0.9 second remaining, K-State sophomore Jevon Thomas’ inbounds pass did not touch anyone before going out of bounds at midcourt. Texas Southern was able to inbound the ball underneath its own basket, executing the perfect play as Southern’s Jason Carter’s jumper fell as time expired.
Then on New Year’s Eve, the Wildcats couldn’t hold on to a late-game, three-point advantage against the Georgia Bulldogs.
"“We just had a hangover from the other day. It is hard and an emotional hangover. It is hard to deal with,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said after the loss to Georgia.“We just did not come out and play with energy. They came out and hit us first and after a while we started hitting them back. We just have to move on from that game and onto the next one. We tried but we just did not finish it at the end,” Wildcat forward Thomas Gipson added."
K-State scored only 12 points in the first half but held a 47-43 lead with 1:06 remaining in the game before losing 50-46 to the SEC school.
"“Obviously, another heartbreaker for us, but give our kids credit,” Weber said. “I thought they played hard the whole time. It was probably our best defensive team effort against a team that averages 75-to-80 points per game. We held them to 20 in the first half and most of that was off of our turnovers – that was all they had plus the breakdown in the half-court at the end of the half."
Things that have plagued the Cat’s all season reared their ugly head this against Georgia – turnovers, poor shooing and lack of productivity from the supposed “leaders” of the team.
Nino Williams scored two points, Gipson was benched, Thomas and Marcus Foster combined for two points and seven turnovers.
The back-to-back losses are not a good thing as the Wildcats will turn their attention to conference play the remainder of the season.
K-State is now 7-6 and is undoubtedly will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament at this point after losing two winnable contests.
It will take a miraculous run through the conference for K-State to fulfill its Big Dance aspirations.
But, the Wildcat players have high hopes to make some noise during the conference schedule.
"“I am looking forward to getting some big wins, especially on the road. Last year, we only won two games on the road, TCU and Texas Tech. This year we need to get some big wins, especially if we are going to get the year we want to have,” Wildcat guard Nigel Johnson said after the Georgia game."
That beings Saturday, Jan. 3 at Oklahoma State. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central Time, and the game will be televised on ESPNU.