Men’s basketball receives opportunity to regroup against Cowboys

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Oklahoma State forward Chris Olivier blocks K-State senior guard Brian Rohleder's layup in the waning seconds of the Wildcats' 89-73 win over the Cowboys on Jan. 23, 2016, inside Bramlage Coliseum. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

From Saturday’s 11-point victory over the No. 1 team in the country to a 72-82 loss against No. 21 Baylor, the K-State men’s basketball team saw highs and lows this past week.

The Wildcats went from shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from the 3-point line last Saturday to just 39.1 percent from the field against Baylor on Wednesday.

As for shooting beyond the arc, it didn’t happen. K-State didn’t hit a single 3-pointer against Baylor in the first half. The only two 3-point baskets of the game came from senior Justin Edwards in the last minute of the second half.

The Wildcats will now try to regroup as they prepare for a road trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday.

The Cowboys have been on a rollercoaster of their own this season. Currently, Oklahoma State is tied for ninth in the Big 12 at 2-9 and an overall record of 11-13. The highlight of the season for the Cowboys was an 86-67 win over Kansas at home back in January.

More recently, the Cowboys have found themselves in a slump, losing their last three games against Texas Tech, Iowa State and TCU. The 56-63 loss to TCU comes after Oklahoma State easily handled TCU at home in early January for a 69-48 win.

Oklahoma State is currently ranked second in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing only 66.3 points per game. On the offensive end, the Cowboys top the Big 12 in free throw percentage, shooting 75.3 percent from the foul line.

Three players on the Cowboy’s roster average double figures. They are led by freshman Jawun Evans, averaging 12.9 points per game. Evans shoots 47.1 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from the 3-point line.

Junior Leyton Hammonds averages 10.5 points per game for the Cowboys and leads the team in rebounding at 5.2 rebounds per game.

The last time K-State and Oklahoma State squared off was in January in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing skid on an 89-73 win over the Cowboys. The Wildcats’ 89 points were the most they scored in a Big 12 game in more than five years.

Eight different Wildcats managed to put points on the board in the first half, led by freshman forward Dean Wade’s 10 points. The score at halftime favored the Wildcats 49-30.

In the second half, K-State expanded the lead to 22 points, but the Cowboys would not go away. Both teams shot just over 50 percent from the field in the half, but despite a 9-2 run for Oklahoma State, K-State prevailed with an 89-73 win.

The trip to Stillwater on Saturday will begin a two-game road trip for the Wildcats. Tipoff against the Cowboys is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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