The Kansas State Wildcat Basketball team had been off to their best start since 2009-10. Bruce Weber’s Wildcats have now lost three games this season by a total of four points.
Kansas State has also lost their last 3 trips to Lubbock. What happened in the final minute on Tuesday was very disappointing for many reasons. It is even more disappointing than the missed call in Lawrence.
The ‘Cats came into the game carrying the weight of the team’s first national ranking since 2014. They were playing good half court defense with a combination of lineups but couldn’t buy a basket though part of the first half.
It was far from the fast start they had in Saturday’s win against Oklahoma.
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The ‘Cats went over 4 minutes without a basket.
Without 14 big first half points from Kamau Stokes and DJ Johnson’s 7 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes, the ‘Cats would not have had a 31-28 lead at the break.
Dean Wade struggled in the first half and didn’t score but had a tremendous second half.
At the game’s 14 minute mark, Wade hit a big 3 from the corner and a jumper from near the top of the key to give Kansas State a 44-40 lead.
A second triple in the half by Wade gave Kansas State a 53 -51 lead. He followed a moment later with big dunk for his 12th point. It kept the ‘Cats in the lead with just over 5 minutes to play.
They led 62-58 with 2:37 remaining and looked like they would steal a win.
A phantom foul call on Barry Brown sent Zach Smith to the line with 49 seconds left. I did not think there was a foul. Brown didn’t think he fouled. The referee did.
Smith missed the free throw but Tech got the ball. Dean Wade was called for his 5th foul with 45 seconds left.
A steal and lay-up by Tech guard Keenan Evans in a 5-0 Tech run gave the Red Raiders the lead for good at 63-62 with 15 seconds left.
The Wildcat had one last chance with 5 seconds to play but Barry Brown missed a lay-up and D. J. Johnson was called for his fifth foul. Brown was hammered on his layup but there was no call?
Then the referee called a technical foul on coach Weber
I’m not sure what the coach did or said. I can’t believe the official believed a technical foul at that point in the game was necessary. Weber should have called a time-out.
Tech hit 3-of-4 free throw followed by Barry Brown’s running 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin of 66-65.
It is possible that a Big 12 official’s call or no call in the final seconds cost the Wildcats for a second straight road game.
The Wildcats played well enough to win. They out-rebounded the Red Raiders.
They connected on 50 percent or better from the field for the eighth time this season. The ‘Cats shot 50 percent (21-of-42) from both the field and from 3-point range against Tech.
Despite all the good, they are sitting at .500 in conference play with a very difficult test against Baylor on Saturday.