Kansas State Wildcat coach Bruce Weber took the high road after the frustrating ending to the Sunflower Showdown. There are too many good things for the ‘Cats to focus on despite the painful loss.
I thought the Wildcat basketball team took a big step to hush critics when they opened Big 12 Conference play with a win over Texas. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
This Wildcat team can take some positives from the Sunflower showdown, including the fact that they put a scare into the nation’s 3rd ranked team.
I do wish that the ‘Cats had forced current Big 12 player of the week Landon Lucas to the bench with early foul trouble. Instead DJ Johnson was sent to the bench with a couple of early fouls.
Had Johnson seen more first half action, the ‘Cats would not have trailed by 10 at the break.
The teams tied in rebounds with 33 apiece.
Kansas State held a slight advantage in points in the paint, 46-44.
The Wildcats opened the second half quickly with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 56-53 17:23 to play.
With less than two minutes to play in the game, Kansas State tied the game three times, the final coming with 50 seconds to play after Iwundu hit a jumper to knot the game at 88-88.
Kansas State shot 50 percent or better for the 6th time this season.
The 82.6 percent shooting (19-of-23) from the free throw line was the second highest of the season… The Wildcats have connected on 80.8 percent (80-of-99) from the line in the last 4 games.
Kansas State scored 17 points off of 15 Kansas turnovers. The ‘Cats have had at least 14 points off turnovers in each of their first 14 game.
The ‘Cats posted double-digit steals (10) for the 5th time this season, including second straight game.
Dean Wade played a great game this time in Allen Fieldhouse. He paced five Wildcats in double figures with 20 points. Senior Wesley Iwundu added 17 points.
The game marked just the fourth time under head coach Bruce Weber that all five starters scored in double figures, including the second time this season.
The ‘Cats need to take these positives and build on them as they continue on this season’s journey. They have to forget the final seconds of the Sunflower Showdown and whip the Sooners on Saturday.