Texas Trampled By Wildcats

In their first matchup, Texas hit a last-second shot to beat Kansas State in Austin. Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, the Wildcats made sure the Longhorns weren't ever close enough to try, coasting to a 74-57 win, marking the worst losing margin for the 'Horns this season.

Texas (18-5, 7-3 Big 12) was overwhelmed from the start, committing six turnovers in the first six minutes and falling behind 18-4. The Longhorns never even challenged … after Kansas State (16-7, 6-4) went up 15-4 on a Will Spradling three-pointer, the Longhorns never closed to within single digits again. The Wildcats took a 39-18 lead into the halftime break.

Kansas State led by 22 at 50-28 when the Longhorns went on a quick 6-0 run thanks to two free throws from Connor Lammert and a layup and floater from Isaiah Taylor. The Wildcats called timeout, with the Longhorns trailing by 16 with 12:13 left and having an outside chance of getting back into the game.

But Wildcat freshman guard Marcus Foster dropped in five of his career-high 34 points, first hitting a three, then getting a layup off a pass from fellow freshman Wesley Iwundu, and the challenge was twarted.

Kansas State went on to lead by as many as 26, and led by 25 with 3:21 left before Texas closed the game on an 8-0 run.

The result was pure dominance. Kansas State averaged 1.16 points per possession to Texas's 0.89, and the Longhorns caught up in that category late, once the result was already well decided.

Foster was brilliant, scoring his 34 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-8 mark from behind the three-point arc. No other Wildcat scored in double-figures, though Will Spradling (9), Iwundu (eight points, eight assists), Nino Williams (8) and D.J. Johnson (8) came close. Kansas State didn't even need much of Thomas Gipson, who bullied the Longhorns for 24 points in Austin. Gipson scored just three points on 1-of-5 shooting, though he did have a game-high 11 rebounds.

Taylor was the only Longhorn in double figures with 17 points, but even he got started too late, making 0-of-2 shots for two points and having three turnovers in the first half before rallying in the second. Starters Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix combined to shoot 5-of-19 with six turnovers between them.

As a team, Texas shot just 32.7 percent from the game, including a 25-percent shooting performance in the first half. The Longhorns finished with 16 points in the paint to 34 from the Wildcats, who entered as the worst three-point shooting team in the conference, but who made 8-of-16 long-distance shots as well.

The loss was Texas's first since Jan. 8, ending the Longhorns' seven-game winning streak that included, at one point, four straight wins over teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (including the original win against the Wildcats). Even with the defeat, Texas remains in second place in the Big 12, though Kansas is currently two games up, thanks to the Jayhawks' Saturday win over West Virginia.

And the worst news might have been on the injury front. Jonathan Holmes sustained an injury to his right knee in the first half and he didn't return, playing just nine minutes overall. Holmes will undergo an MRI to find the extent of his knee damage.

The Longhorns don't have long to regroup, as they have to head back to Austin to take on Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were the last team to defeat the Longhorns before Saturday's result, grabbing an 87-74 win in Stillwater.

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