The Kansas State men’s basketball team fought back from a 20-point deficit on the road at Iowa State but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss against the Cyclones inside Hilton Coliseum Tuesday night.
Senior forward Wesley Iwundu led the Wildcats in scoring with 15 points, sophomore guard Kamau Stokes had 12 and freshman guard Xavier Sneed finished with 11 in the losing effort.
“At halftime I told our guys they should be disappointed and they responded,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “We played a good second half, but it just wasn’t enough.”
After both teams traded baskets in the first five minutes, Iowa State went on an 8-0 run to take the lead 20-10.
The Cyclones dominated the first half from then on and had a 43-26 lead going into the halftime break.
Cyclone senior guard Matt Thomas had 20 points at halftime as he hit six 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. As a team, Iowa State shot 57 percent, which featured nine 3- pointers as a team.
K-State cut into the lead in the second half as they trailed 54-43 with 10 minutes left in the game.
The Wildcats went on a 5-0 run to get within 54-48 and eventually took the lead 58-57.
Down the stretch, it was Sneed who was the playmaker as he hit two 3’s to get the Wildcats back in the game.
“The thing with Xavier is on the defensive end and him being a bit rambunctious on the offensive end,” Weber said. “But he does a lot of good things and he brings a different dimension to the offense.”
K-State was not able to keep the momentum from their big comeback going. Iowa State went on an 8-1 run to take a 65-59 lead with just a few minutes to play. K-State got back within two at 65-63, but couldn’t ever get the lead again as they lost 70-65.
The Wildcats are now 15-5 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play while the Cyclones are 13-6 and 5-3 in conference play.
K-State will travel to Tennessee to take on the Volunteers in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Saturday with tip off scheduled for 1 p.m.
“They beat Kentucky tonight and they will be very tough,” Weber said. “It’s a big game for us and it’s important for our league.”