Basketball battles back, beats UNLV in overtime

Men's basketball took on North Dakota State in Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 5, 2019. The Wildcats won with a final score of 67-54. (Emily Lenk | Collegian Media Group)

The men’s basketball team won a nail-biter on the road against University of Nevada-Las Vegas 60-56 in overtime Saturday.

Kansas State’s leading scorer was senior forward Xavier Sneed, who had 19 points on 6-18 shooting. He also recorded clutch points in the overtime period after junior guard Cartier Diarra fouled out.

K-State played poorly on offense in the first half. After scoring the game’s first four points, K-State went cold and didn’t score again until there were about 10 minutes were left in the half. By that point, they were already down 10 points.

That was the Runnin’ Rebels biggest lead of the game, but they held onto it for more than 30 minutes.

K-State did just enough in the first half to stay in the game. The Wildcats closed out the half trailing 23-16 despite shooting 27.6 percent from the field and 0-10 from three.

They finally caught up with UNLV, tying the game with about 13 minutes to play. After that, it was just a matter of UNLV taking the lead and K-State fighting back.

The Wildcats figured out their offensive problems in the second half. They outscored UNLV 32-25 in the final half thanks to nine points from Sneed and eight from Diarra.

Diarra finished the game with 12 points, six assists and two blocked shots. He fouled out midway through the overtime period trying to drive the basket and score a critical basket.

Late in the game, K-State took a two-point lead behind a pair of free throws from Diarra, but he fouled UNLV senior guard Elijah Mitrou-Long on a layup with just over a minute left. Mitrou-Long nailed both free throws to tie the game at 48 a piece.

UNLV junior guard Amauri Hardy missed a three at the buzzer that would have ended the game. He finished the game with a game-high 27 points.

In overtime, K-State shot 50 percent and scored 12 total points. Sophomore guard Mike McGuirl led all overtime scorers with five points.

UNLV took to fouling late to try to take back the lead in the last minutes of the game. K-State managed to make enough of their free throws to keep UNLV at bay. They were a perfect 5-5.

K-State is now 2-0 and will be in action again on Tuesday against Monmouth in Bramlage Coliseum. It is the first on-campus game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off and will be streamed live on ESPN+.