K-State started off conference play with a three-game losing streak. Now, after Wednesday’s double-overtime loss to No. 13 Baylor in Waco, Texas, the Wildcats are one game away from losing three more in a row as they entertain Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The Cowboys, fresh off a court storm and 19-point blowout win versus No. 3 Kansas, are riding high with hopes of slowly making their way into the Big 12 conversation for the first time this season after losing four conference games in a row.
Oklahoma State is led by freshman guard Juwan Evans, who is averaging a team-high 12.9 points per game. He lit up the Jayhawks in their upset, recording 22 points after putting up 42 points versus Oklahoma two games prior.
K-State, on the other hand, has been starving for some positive momentum. In the Wildcats’ five conference losses, four have been against top-25 teams, two have been against current top-10 teams, four have been by 10 points or less and two have been in double overtime.
Now, circumstances aside, head coach Bruce Weber is looking for outside inspiration to get his players, who have come so close multiple times this season, over the hump.
“The Chiefs had some really tough losses at the beginning of the year,” Weber said. “(Kansas City head coach) Andy Reid helped them keep the ship afloat. If you found a way to get one, go win another and you keep moving forward. That’s all we can do right now.”
After winning their first game, the Chiefs lost their next five before they won 11 straight games and made the playoffs.
Saturday’s game will be the first home game for the Wildcats since the semester officially started on Tuesday. With the students back in full force, Weber said he is hoping for a raucous home crowd to help jumpstart his team and avoid a third straight loss.
“I hope we get a great crowd,” Weber said. “I hope the students are back and they show up because we need them. This is when you need people. Our guys are dying inside. We need that place energized to help us go to another level.”
The Wildcats have not lost to the Cowboys in Bramlage Coliseum since the 2009-10 season. In fact, K-State has only lost to the Cowboys twice at home in the previous 10 seasons.
Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. Saturday inside Bramlage Coliseum.