Wildcats take down Longhorns in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas — Cartier Martin and Lance Harris were on fire. The seniors for the Kansas State men's basketball team singlehandedly set a season-high for three-point baskets made in a single game, and they helped lead the Wildcats to a stunning 73-72 upset victory over No. 22 Texas Saturday afternoon here in the Erwin Center.

K-State was down for the majority of the game, falling behind by as many as nine points in the first half, but the team knocked down 14-of-27 threes to claw its way back and pull off the clutch win.

Martin hit a career-high seven threes out of only 11 attempts, and finished the game with 27 points.

"I didn't plan on shooting that many, but I was feeling good and I felt like everything could go in," Martin said. He also hit two clutch free throws with 13 seconds left to give K-State a 73-70 lead.

Texas raced down the court after calling a timeout, and freshman Justin Mason missed an off-centered three-point shot that would have tied the game.

Freshman Damion James rebounded the miss and made an unimportant layup with no time left on the clock, giving the Wildcats the 73-72 win.

"We came into this game believing we were supposed to win, and we were able to get the job done," Martin said. "We have said all season that we don't want to settle for second, and now we have a chance to be in first place (in the Big 12 Conference)."

The Wildcats (17-6 overall, 6-2 Big 12) have now won seven consecutive games and six-straight conference games, something they haven't done since the 1987-88 season.

The win was also the first time K-State had defeated a ranked opponent on the road since 1996.

"This win is a win that is going to help us out a lot," junior David Hoskins said. He continued his streak of 16 consecutive games scoring in double digits with 13 against Texas. He also had nine rebounds and five assists. "We needed a win against a quality team to prove we are as good as we think we can be."

Kevin Durant didn't make it an easy feat for K-State, and the freshman phenom was no match for the Wildcat defenders. He went 13-for-21 from the field with a game-high 32 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.

The leading scorer and rebounder in the Big 12 this season pounded his way into the lane almost whenever he wanted, and he also drained two threes in the game. "We tried to contain him but he was still able to make some hard shots," K-State coach Bob Huggins said. "He's a special player, and we did what we could to try and slow him down."

Luckily for K-State, when the Longhorns needed him the most, Durant couldn't come through for his team. He missed two of his last three shots, both of which would have played a substantial role in the outcome.

K-State couldn't stop Durant, but the defense did contain the other two playmakers for Texas.

Sophomore A.J. Abrams came into the game averaging 16.1 points per game, but K-State held him to just 2-of-16 shooting and only seven points.

Freshman D.J. Augustin was averaging 13.4 points and a Big 12 best 7.1 assists per game. The Wildcats shut him down as well, as he finished with only six points, two assists and four turnovers.

Mason was the only Longhorn besides Durant who scored in double figures. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

It was obvious from the beginning that K-State wasn't playing at home. The Wildcats didn't play with as much intensity early on as it has recently shown in the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum.

They did continue their aggressive defensive style, and stayed with the Longhorns throughout the early parts of the first half.

Freshman Jason Bennett and Martin each hit consecutive shots to tie the score at 14 at the 11:47 mark. Texas than exploded for an 11-2 run in a little more than five minutes, and led by as many as nine at one point. With the Longhorns leading 27-18 at the 5:18 mark, both teams went on scoring frenzy.

They exchanged baskets for the rest of the half, with K-State knocking down five consecutive three-pointers. Martin drained the first one and Harris hit the last four.

K-State had clawed its way back to within two with less than a minute to go, but freshman Justin Mason beat the buzzer with another three to give the Longhorns a 38-33 halftime lead.

Harris hit 6-of-8 shots, including 4-of-5 from downtown, to close out the first half with 16 points. He finished with 19 in the game. Texas got ahead by eight early in the second half, but Martin hit three consecutive threes to give K-State a 49-48 lead with 12:10 to play. The Longhorns looked shocked after Martin's run, but they didn't give in.

They took a three-point lead, and the two teams exchanged the lead numerous times for the next few minutes. With the score tied at 68, Martin drained a three to give K-State a three-point lead, and the Wildcats held on for the shocking victory.

Bennett had a strong performance, scoring four points off a jumper from the corner and a hook shot in Durant's face. He also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.

K-State travels to Lawrence Wednesday night for a showdown with Kansas. The Jayhawks are coming off a 69-66 loss to Texas A&M, and a win for the Wildcats could potentially move them into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with the Aggies.

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