The K-State Wildcats appeared to have their in-state rival Kansas down on the mat ready to tap out with two minutes left in regulation. The Jayhawks did the opposite. Freshman forward Andrew Wiggins laid in an easy put back with seven seconds left, sending the game to overtime. K-State finished off the Jayhawks with a TKO in OT, winning 85-82.
“I told them to look at me and I said ‘You’ve worked too hard to not grab this game,’” head coach Bruce Weber said about his message to the team entering overtime.
Monday night in Bramlage Coliseum, there was no shortage of dramatics. Both teams battled back and forth throughout the game. There were 20 lead changes through the course of the game.
In most meetings with Kansas, it is the Jayhawks who start hot out of the gate. On Monday night, the Wildcats took the game to the No. 7 ranked team in the country. Senior guard Will Spradling drilled a 3-pointer to give K-State a 13-6 lead with 13:13 left in the first half. Kansas battled back and even had the chance to enter the halfway break with the lead. Sophomore forward D.J. Johnson sent Kansas’ freshman guard Brannen Greene back at him with a big block. At the midway point, both teams were deadlocked at 29-29.
“I thought the second half, they (K-State) were the more aggressive team,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “That’s easy to do when you have a great crowd and you have some momentum.”
Near the midway point in the second half, the Wildcats seemed to be dictating the game. K-State held an eight-point lead with a raucous Bramlage Coliseum behind them. However, it was how they finished the second half that will be remembered.
The Jayhawks got to the rim at will in the final two minutes of regulation, sending the heated battle into overtime.
Freshman guard Marcus Foster, who was just named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, elevated his game in extra time. The freshman found Spradling in the corner for a 3-pointer. On the following possession, Foster added three more of his own as he converted the and-one after a tough lay-in. The next time down the court, Foster converted again, giving K-State a 3-point lead.
“We just played catch up in overtime,” Self said. “We did not play very well in overtime.”
Foster, who scored 34 points on Saturday, finished with 20 points against Kansas.
“It was fun,” Foster said about the game. “It was a lot of fun throughout the whole game.”
With Foster, and seniors Omari Lawrence and Shane Southwell being forced to the bench with injuries throughout the contest, K-State needed their bench to step up. They did. Weber’s bench scored a combined 30 points. Johnson finished with a Big 12 career high nine points, adding two blocks and four rebounds.
Spradling continued his hot play on Monday. The senior finished with 15 points. Over the past two games, Spradling is a combined six of eight from outside.
With the win on Monday, K-State defeated the Jayhawks for the first time since February of 2011.
The Wildcats (17-7, 7-4) will now go on the road to take on Baylor. Despite being undefeated at home in Big 12 play this season, the Wildcats are just 1-4 on the road in conference play. K-State got a big win Monday but Weber was quick to point out that the season doesn’t end here.
“This is not the end of this season,” Weber said. “This has to be a stepping stone.”