Wildcats lose in tight game to Jayhawks, 73-72

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Kansas State Wildcat number 5, Barry Brown Jr., takes a shot during the basketball game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. on Jan. 13, 2018. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

It was a game eerily familiar to the game last year here in Lawrence. A movie that K-State had seen before if you will.

K-State needing to convert on one possession to take down the Jayhawks in their house for the second straight year.

Three points. Two losses. One feeling.

Heartbreaking.

“I should’ve passed the ball to Dean (Wade),” junior Barry Brown said after the loss. “I honestly don’t know why I didn’t.”

With 15 seconds left down by one in Allen Field House, Brown had a chance to pass to an open Wade in the closing seconds but took an off-balance three that hit the front of the iron in a 73-72 loss.

Wade defended his teammate after the game.

“I trust Barry and if he didn’t pass it I believe he did the right thing,” Wade said. “He didn’t think it was the right pass so he didn’t make it. I stand by his decision.”

The Jayhawks got off to a hot start leading 8-2 in the first few minutes, but the Wildcats scratched and clawed their way back in the first half.

With K-State down 21-13, the Wildcats used an 8-0 run to tie the game at 21 midway through the half. A major reason for the Wildcats comeback was junior Dean Wade who had eight points in the early going including a three point basket.

Jayhawk Devonte Graham hit a three point basket to give the Jayhawks a short lived 24-21 lead as the Wildcats scored the next eight to lead 29-24.

They extended their lead to 34-28, but then Kansas senior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk hit back to back three pointers, one at the buzzer, to put the game tied at 34 at the halftime break.

Kansas came out ready to go in the second half as they jumped out to a 49-39 lead following a Graham three point basket.

The Wildcats weren’t about to go down that easy though.

Freshman Cartier Diarra provided most of the offense down the stretch and got K-State back into the game.

K-State took a 59-57 lead, but right after that Diarra was called for a technical foul after Makol Mawien blocked a shot.

“I didn’t say any curse words and all I did was congratulate my teammate,” he said. “I didn’t say anything to the ref.”

Graham made two free throws to tie the game back at 59.

The game was tied at 69 as a ball was deflected out of bounds and originally given to K-State. Following a Bruce Weber timeout, the call was changed and given to Kansas.

“I had no idea they were going to look at the play,” he said.

With the Wildcat down 72-71 with 30 seconds left, Xavier Sneed was fouled driving to the rim. Sneed made both free throws and the Wildcats had a one point advantage.

On the following possession, Jayhawk Malik Newman was fouled on a layup attempt and made both of his free throws giving Kansas a 73-72 lead.

“We wanted to foul because we had one to give if one of their players drove past one of ours,” Weber explained. “Cartier was guarding Malik and he is young and didn’t foul him. It’s only his second start and he played so well so you can’t get too made at that.”

Diarra finished with 18 points followed by Dean Wade who had 22 in the losing effort. Sneed ended with 14 while Brown had 12 as the Wildcats benched only had two of the 72 points scored.

K-State is now 12-5 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play and will focus on Oklahoma as they take on the Sooners inside Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday.

“It’s a tough loss, but I just told our guys we need to move on,” Weber said. “We can’t dwell on this one because this league is so tough there are many good teams we will face.”

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