The No. 18 Kansas State men’s basketball team fell to the No. 23 Iowa State Cyclones 78-64 Saturday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum, ending the Wildcats’ nine-game conference winning streak.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the opening minutes of the first half and exchanged the lead back-and-forth with the Cyclones. K-State held an 11-8 lead at the 13:24 mark, but after that, it was all Cyclones in the first half and the rest of the game.
The Cyclones knocked down eight three-pointers in the first half; these shots comprised 24 of their 38 first-half points. The Cyclones shot an exceptional 57 percent on 14 attempts from behind the three-point line.
The Wildcats were not as good as Iowa State at shooting three-pointers; they only made three of eight in the first half.
The bright part of the first half for the Wildcats was senior guard Barry Brown. Brown was fantastic in the first half scoring 16 points, including a half-court buzzer beater that cut the Cyclones lead to 31-38 to go into halftime. Brown ended the game with 23 points.
“[Barry] was big time, he kept us in the game,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “He played like a senior should.”
The scoring margin was much closer in the second half than it was in the first half, but K-State’s problem was Iowa State three-point shooting. Iowa State shot 60 percent in the second half.
Iowa State was led by sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton, who had 23 points, and freshman guard Talen Horton-Tucker, who scored 20 points.
Wigginton was 7-of-9 on field goals and 5-of-6 from three.
“I was feeling it,” Wigginton said. “I’m always confident. [Kansas State] is the No. 1 team in the conference and I just wanted to bring it.”
The Wildcats cut the Cyclones lead down to one possession multiple times in the second half, but the Cyclones would respond on the following possession with a three-pointer to separate themselves and to take the crowd out of the game. The Cyclones made six three-pointers in the second half.
“[Iowa State] is a good offensive team,” Weber said on Iowa State’s three-point shooting performance in this game. “You have to give them credit. They are good.”
It was not that K-State didn’t play well today – the team shot 42 percent from the field – it was that Iowa State was red hot from the three-point line. The Cyclones ended the game with 14 three-pointers.
The Wildcats are still in first place in the Big 12 conference, but their lead was cut to just a half game after this defeat. The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Kansas Jayhawks sit right behind the Wildcats.
The Wildcats (19-6) will now travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers at 8 p.m. Monday.