"Senior Night" is a good night

All is well in K-State country. Just ask the five seniors who celebrated their final home game and the thousands of fans that stormed the Bramlage Coliseum floor following the Wildcats' 58-48 upset victory over No. 10 Texas Saturday.

MANHATTAN – All is well in Wildcat country. Just ask the five Kansas State seniors celebrating "Senior Night" and the thousands of fans that stormed the Bramlage Coliseum floor after K-State defeated No. 10 Texas 58-48 Saturday.

Three starters Jarrett Hart, Frank Richards, and Tim Ellis were all saluted before the game, along with reserves Blake Bauer and Josh Eilert.

It's the first top 10 opponent K-State has beaten in two years and second in 10. The victory gives Wildcat coach Jim Wooldridge his first regular season winning record since joining K-State four seasons ago and couldn't have come at a better time for the Wildcats with the Big 12 Tournament in Dallas, Texas, next week.

"I think will boost our confidence a little, but we knew we are a good basketball team," said Jeremiah Massey, who led K-State with a game-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. "We never thought we were going to lose. I've said many times that at the beginning of the season, I thought we could beat anybody. I'm just happy to be in the situation right now."

K-State (14-13, 6-10 Big 12) shot 58 percent from the field in the second half, a far cry from the 19 percent in the first, and sealed the victory going 14-of-16 from the free throw line in the final six minutes.

After playing to a Bramlage record-low 39 total combined points in the first half, the Wildcats took a two-point lead with 17:13 to go on a Tim Ellis three-pointer. However, Texas (21-6, 12-4) rallied back with a 9-2 run and regained the lead at 31-26.

But with 10:52 remaining, K-State, the first team to hold the Longhorns to under 50 points since 2001, went on a 13-2 to take control by six. Texas got three three-pointers, two from Kenny Taylor, and eventually tied it back up at 45. K-State pushed it back to a five-point lead before making eight consecutive shots from the line.

"We need our whole team to play," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Tonight we had about three or four guys that didn't do their job. Our post guys weren't as aggressive as they needed to be. They (K-State) were packing down in the paint and there wasn't a lot of room to work down there. We got the ball there enough that we should have got to the free throw line. With the way we were shooting free throws, I don't think that would have made a difference."

Texas was just 9-of-16 from the free throw line and 28 percent from the field in the second half, led by Taylor and Sydmill Harris with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

With the win, K-State got its first back-to-back conference victories in two seasons and marks the most wins for the Wildcats since the 1998-99 season under Tom Asbury.

"It couldn't be any better," said Hart, who had eight points. "This picture perfect. All the fans, coaching staff, university have really supported me. There's a chance I wouldn't have been here. I feel I showed my character. My teammates believed in me and I believed in them."

"This big for coach too. He's more happy for us right now, but down the line is going to be big for him. He's a good coach. We've had our ups and downs this year, but we never gave up. He kept us believing."


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