'Cats have pieces, but not the entirity
No, Kansas State did not defeat the Missouri Tigers Saturday night, but head coach Jim Wooldridge did say of the 62-53 loss, "This game made more sense. We made fewer mistakes."
While the Wildcats didn't shoot the ball worth diddly (35 percent) and were out-rebounded by eight, Wooldridge did say, "I thought we played better as a unit at times, and that's been our message to our team. 'Let's don't fight ourselves, let's carry out assignments and do our jobs.' By doing that, you end up playing together and that gives you a much better chance to win ballgames."
Kansas State, now 9-8, did show the spunk to come back from adversity in each half to make it a two-point game at the half, 27-25, and later tie the game in the second half at 34-all.
But there were those other segments that were victory-killers.
After coming from nine points down, K-State opened the second half by committing two personal fouls, miss two shots and allow two scores by the Tigers in the first 90 seconds.
On calling an immediate timeout, Wooldridge said, "We're literally teaching from the ground up. This experience was an opportunity to teach them again. If you're going to win on the road, you can't start the second half in a two-point game by giving up two lay-ups."
Or as senior Jarrett Hart said, "The way we started the second half, there's no excuse. Those are things we can control. They came out and got two easy lay-ups, and that can't happen in the Big 12. We play in one of the top conferences in the country, and to let a team get easy points is what decides the game."
Kansas State, 1-5 in the Big 12, has played six games with four of those being against ranked teams — Kansas (2), O-State and Oklahoma.
Of the remaining 10 games — five at home, five on the road — only two — at Texas Tech and at home versus Texas — will be against Top 25 teams.
The opportunities for victory this week will come against 1-5, 11-6 Nebraska on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum, and on Saturday at 4-3, 12-6 Colorado in a 3 p.m. (Manhattan time) start.
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