K-State falls short again, losing 79-69

K-State let another lead slip away Saturday, dropping its third straight game. Missouri overcame a halftime deficit by shooting 64 percent from the field in the second half.

Missouri shot 64 percent from the field in the second half and Jason Conley scored a game-high 20 points off the bench to defeat Kansas State 79-69 Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State dropped to 12-13, 4-10 in the Big 12, while Missouri, winners of six straight, improved to 15-10, 9-5.

The Wildcats led by seven at halftime. However, that lead was erased by a 20-5 Missouri run to start the second half en route to an eight-point advantage it never surrendered. K-State was just 2-of-10 from the field and turned the ball over four times during the same span.

It was the second-straight game that an opponent has shot 64 percent from the field in the second half. Iowa State did it earlier in the week.

"They got those (baskets) in variety of ways, against man-to-man, against a zone," K-State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "They got into a good rhythm. We couldn't match them on the other end. We didn't have enough offense to match what they were doing and the shooting percentages they accomplished in the second half."

"We had a stretch there where we missed a couple of lay-ups and a couple of free-throws. Had we made those and kept our head above water, so to speak, then I think we have had a game."

Missouri sparked its run when Ricky Paulding dunked over Frank Richards on a fast-break. Richards was called for a blocking foul on the play, which changed the momentum of the game.

"I think it was a big play for us," said Paulding, who scored all of his 17 points in the second half. "We were attacking the back in the second half. We felt like they were really packing in defensively at half court and just wanted to get to the basket and kind of open things up for us. I got a boost of energy and I just wanted to be aggressive and shoot my shots. We had to make shots for the lane to open up and then we could drive."

K-State, led by junior forward Jeremiah Massey with 17 points, did get within three late, but wasn't able to stop the Tigers' from beyond the arch. Missouri was 9-of-14 on three-pointers in the second, and at one point made six in a row. K-State shot 43.3 percent in the second half and 44.8 percent for the game.

Senior guard Jarrett Hart, who scored 14 for K-State, said practice just hasn't been carrying over into the games and has led to the Wildcats' current three-game losing streak.

"We needed to adjust," he said. "We can't have coach calling timeout after timeout. We just didn't adjust tonight on the floor. The big key again was rebounding. We work on it in practice all the time, but it needs to get to the game. The guards need to come in and help the big guys rebound, and big guys have to be more active too."

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