The way David Hoskins played the first half, K-State fans might have forgotten he was there.
The undersized forward was held scoreless in eight minutes of play in the opening half of K-State’s 69-60 win over Baylor Wednesday in Bramlage Coliseum.
Hoskins waited until late in the game to make his presence felt. He scored his first points off a layup with 10:14 left in the game.
“(Dave’s) a little under the weather,” coach Bob Huggins said. “I told him, ‘I grew up with folks who were mailmen in Cleveland. They get 12 inches of snow, nobody really cares if they got the sniffles. You’ve still got to deliver the mail.’ Dave’s got to deliver the mail. He’s got to come to play everyday.”
Hoskins’ basket cut Baylor’s lead to 51-42 and was the Wildcats’ first field goal of the second half. Up to that point, the Bears were on a 12-0 run that stretched all the way back to a Luis Colon free throw made in the opening minutes of the second half.
Huggins said his players were a little confused about their defensive assignments.
“I think they thought for a minute there that we were playing a triangle and two because for the first few possessions we had three guys playing zone and two playing man,” Huggins said. “Once we got everyone on the same page I thought we did pretty good.”
Hoskins followed his first make of the game with a pair of trips to the foul line. He finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
After Hoskins finally got the team going, the Wildcats went on 29-9 run to close out the final 10 minutes.
“They went on a run, and we knew we had to get out,” senior Cartier Martin said. “We knew we just had to put the ball in the hole, get our offense going, and try to get to the free-throw line.”
As usual, Hoskins scored the bulk of his points from the foul line. He offset a 2-of-12 night from the field by sinking 9-of-10 free throws.
Senior Lance Harris, who finished with 18 points, led the Wildcats in scoring. Martin and junior Clent Stewart scored 15 and 12 respectively.
Sophomore Henry Dugat led the Bears in scoring with 15 points. Baylor junior Aaron Bruce added 13 points but needed 17 shots (2-of-12 from 3-point range) to do so.
Sophomore Kevin Rogers – who entered the game as the Bears’ leading scorer – played only 12 minutes and scored two points. Rogers got into early foul trouble and eventually fouled out of the game.
The 11 points the Wildcats were down was the biggest deficit they have overcome since they came back from 11 to beat William & Mary 70-60 Nov. 11.
“I was really happy for the guys because they need that,” Huggins said. “They need to understand that if you keep doing the right things then you got a chance.”