Texas Falls to Kansas State

The Texas Longhorns lost to the Kansas State Wildcats, 73-72, in a nail-biter at the Erwin Center on Saturday. Kevin Durant put in another 30-point game, but Texas couldn't stop the Wildcats cavalcade of three-pointers, as K-State hit 51.9% from behind the arch.

As his team's shots refused to fall freshman forward Kevin Durant once again put his team on his shoulders in the second half, finishing with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks, but it wasn't enough as No. 22 Texas (16-6, 6-2 Big 12) fell to Kansas State (17-6, 6-2 Big 12) 73-72. Despite Durant's strong game, Kansas State head coach Bob Huggins says his team did a good job of keeping the 6'9" freshman from beating them, as hard as that might be.

"He's special, but we didn't really turn him lose," said Huggins. "We tried to make things hard on him. It's hard. He's good."

Key shots did not fall for Texas, including the most important one. Texas was down 73-70 with 13 seconds remaining and had the ball. But guard Justin Mason's off-balance shot missed the basket and forward Damion James scored an uncontested put-back as time expired, leaving Texas with a stunning one-point loss.

"We didn't execute what we wanted to do," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "We didn't execute the ball screen and we ended up with not a very good shot."

Texas also lost because the shots most definitely were falling for Kansas State. The Wildcats hit 14 of their 27 three-pointers (51.9%).

"They had a great shooting day. The three's a great equalizer," said Barnes.

After the game, Huggins said that it wasn't originally his plan to have hit team shoot that many times from outside, they were just adjusting to what Texas gave them.

"They used a lot of 2-3 zone. Even when they played man, they ran people into the paint to take away the easy buckets. We were kind of forced to shoot that many," said Huggins.

The big shooter for Kansas State against Texas was forward Cartier Martin. Coming off the bench, Martin led Kansas State with 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting and, most importantly, an impressive 7-of-11 behind the arch. Martin says the Texas defense was focused elsewhere and it allowed him to come through with a big game.

"They were kind of playing off me a little bit. They didn't respect it (the three-point shot), so I rolled up and hit it," said Martin.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from Martin was Texas' A.J. Abrams. The sophomore guard extended his streak of games with at least one three-pointer made to 25, but just barely. Abrams hit on only one of his six attempts and finished 2-of-16 shooting overall for 7 points.

"Tough night. Great defensive team. You have nights like this you got to move on," said Abrams.

Durant put himself in the record book for the umpteenth time on Saturday, but this was a big one. He set the Big 12 freshman scoring record with 557 points, passing Curtis Stinson of Iowa State (534, 2003-04). This is also with eight conference games remaining, not even including the Big 12 tournament. Durant has been able to do it with the frenetic pace he's been on.

There have only been 15 30-point games by a freshman in Big 12 history. Durant has six of them.

But Durant's latest 30-point outing wasn't enough to stop Kansas State. It was a big upset for the Wildcats, as the last time K-State had beat a ranked opponent on the road was 11 years ago (1996, No. 23 Iowa State). But Huggins says he expects that from his team every single night.

"It's going to sound stupid to you, but I have never lined up and thought we were going to lose," said Huggins. "I always thought we were going to figure out a way to win. The reality is if I don't believe that, they're never going to believe that."

Durant said he feels the exact same way.

"We should have won the game," said Durant. "That's how I feel after every loss. We just got to bounce back and get ready for A&M."

Texas next takes on the Aggies in College Station on Monday night. No. 8 Texas A&M has sold out the game, which is set for an 8:00 p.m. start on ESPN's Big Monday presentation.


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