K-State had one of their best shooting night of the season last Tuesday as they crushed Texas Tech 83-70. That effort made Saturday’s lackluster offensive effort versus Iowa State even more disappointing for head coach Bruce Weber.
“You hope to make some progress…” head coach Bruce Weber said. “Tonight, and for Oklahoma, they out competed us. You thought it would have been a little better.”
The Wildcats (11-6. 1-4) fell to No. 17 Iowa State (14-3, 2-3) 76-63 while shooting 37.7 percent from the floor, almost 15 percent less than the Cyclones did.
Senior guard Justin Edwards and Iowa State’s Monte Morris led all scorers with 19 points.
Junior forward Wesley Iwundu and freshman guard Kamau Stokes both put up double figures for the Wildcats with 11 and 10 respectively.
K-State shot out to a quick start leading 6-2 early. After that, it would be almost five minutes before the Cats scored again as Iowa State ripped off a 24-4 run that left K-State in an almost 20 point hole.
After a timeout to attempt to stop the bleeding, K-State closed out the half with a 14-6 run to cut the Cyclone lead to 9. In that timeout, Weber reminded his players of last seasons come from behind win versus the Cyclones.
“I told them to keep fighting,” Weber said. “We were down sixteen in the first half here last year. That is all you can do.”
Both teams traded buckets throughout the first couple minutes before Iowa State took their largest lead of the half with 13:10 to play.
From there, an eight point run by the Wildcats gave K-State their smallest defect of the game since being down four with 11:26 in the first half.
Iowa State would respond with a run of their own coming out of a timeout, inflicting a seven point run to stretch their lead to 12 with 8:03 left in the game.
“I think the biggest thing is we just had guys really step up,” senior Iowa State forward Georges Niang said about Iowa State’s final push. “Coach (Steve Prohm) was asking us how we were going to act when our back was against the wall and I feel like we responded.”
The Wildcats would attempt another push but were unsuccessful as the Iowa State lead stayed at seven point or more until the final buzzer sounded with K-State trailing by 13.
The 13 point loss marks their worst loss of the season as K-State has not lost by more than 10 points all season.
This is also the first 1-4 start to conference play for K-State since the 1998-99 season.
“We can not panic,” Edwards said. “I know we are going to bounce back and get our wins. we need to be composed and get in the gym and work. We are going to keep getting better. We are almost there and we just need to get over that hump and once we do, we will be fine.”
K-State will head back onto the road on Wednesday to take on a hot No. 22 Baylor team that’s won four in a row since opening the conference season to a loss to Kansas.