Cats lose heartbreaker in Austin, 65-63

Jamie Carey hit another big shot Sunday, this time a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to send the fifth-ranked Longhorns to a 65-63 win over No. 9 Kansas State, preventing the Wildcats from clinching the conference championship and creating a tie atop the Big 12 standings with one game to play.

The defending champion Longhorns (25-3, 13-2) finish the regular season Tuesday night at No. 23 Oklahoma. Kansas State (22-4, 13-2) finishes at home a day later against No. 8 Texas Tech.

Carey was just 2-of-9 shooting before hitting the game-winner. She's now 9-of-41 in the last four games but keeps hitting big shots for the Longhorns.

Her two 3-pointers in double overtime beat Baylor earlier in the week.

"I don't care if Jamie is 0-for-February," Texas coach Jody Conradt said. "I'm still wanting her to take the lost shot."

Carey said she didn't worry about a miss.

"I think that shooters love pressure," she said "You don't really think about it at the time, you just put it up."

Nina Norman scored 15 points and Stacy Stephens added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Longhorns (25-3, 13-2).

Kendra Wecker scored 24 points and Nicole Ohlde added 17 for Kansas State (22-4, 13-2), which rallied from 10 points down in the second half. But both missed shots to extend the lead or tie the game in the final 22 seconds.

Ohlde's layup with 1:58 left put the Wildcats ahead 63-62. Texas missed its next four shots but got a last chance to win when Wecker missed a layup and Stephens grabbed the rebound with 17 seconds left.

After Texas called a timeout to set up a play, the Longhorns swung the ball left before Heather Schreiber passed it to Carey, who had slipped through the defense from one side of the court to the other.

She quickly launched a high shot over the 6-foot-5 Ohlde, whose desperation leap nearly tipped the ball.

"The last two trips up the floor they had gone inside. I really anticipated they would be trying to hit us inside," Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said. "Jamie Carey stepped up and made a big play and we had a defensive breakdown. That's all it takes."

After a timeout, the Wildcats pushed the ball to Ohlde who spun around Texas' Mercedes Williams for a five-footer. The ball rolled around the rim before falling out at the buzzer, leaving Ohlde to punch at the air and scream in frustration.

"Things just kind of fell their way toward the end," a teary-eyed Wecker said. "We missed our last three shots. I think on any other night they would have gone in."

Carey also played a key role on defense, holding Laurie Koehn, the Big 12's top 3-point shooter, to 0-of-4 from long range. Kansas State was 3-of-13 as a team.

"No one worked harder on our team than Jamie Carey," Conradt said. "For 40 minutes she was in Laurie Koehn's shirt and still had the composure and legs to knock down the crucial shot."

Texas trailed 43-39 in the second before a 19-5 run put the Longhorns up 58-48 with 7:53 to play.

Reserve guard Coco Reed started the run with two straight steals and three free throws. She ended it with a 3-point play off another steal.

Wecker started Kansas State's rally with a spinning jumper in the lane. The Wildcats hit consecutive 3-pointers and five straight points by Ohlde gave Kansas State the lead before Carey's late heroics.

Texas extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 34. The last team to beat the Longhorns in the Frank Erwin Center was Kansas State, 80-76 in double overtime in 2002.

"I'm sure we'll get another shot at them," Wecker said. "Probably in the Big 12 tournament."

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