K-State falls to Oklahoma State 64-59 in fourth consecutive loss

Junior guard Cartier Diarra charges the basket during K-State’s men’s basketball game against Oklahoma State in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2020. The Cowboys took the Wildcats 64-59. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State men’s basketball team lost a close game to the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Bramlage Tuesday night. The Wildcats are now 9-15 and 2-8 in Big 12 conference play after the 64-59 loss.

In what is starting to feel like a trend, this battle of last place teams saw K-State attempt to comeback from a first half deficit.

“Every loss for me is disappointing,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. “You’re playing at home. You’ve got a decent crowd.”

The Wildcats pulled ahead early, but Oklahoma State answered with a 9-3 run over the last seven minutes of the first half, leading 27-21.

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“I thought we got off to a decent start — 9-7 — at the first timeout,” Weber said. “They made some plays.”

In the second half, a pair of free throws from junior guard Mike McGuirl cut the lead to one with 15:14 to play, but then the Cowboys got it back out to six quickly, and then eight a few minutes later.

K-State managed to climb within two points with six minutes to play, and then Oklahoma State sophomore forward Yor Anei, an Kansas product, scored five straight points.

That seemed to be the pattern of the game: K-State gets close, but fails to get over the hump.

“They executed. They got it to the right people. They made all the right plays,” Weber said. “When you don’t get stops like that, now you have to be perfect on offense and we had some decent possessions in the second half, but just not consistent enough.”

Though it did not reflect on the final score, K-State did plenty to make it feel close right up to the end of the game.

A pair of free throws from senior forward Makol Mawien cut the Cowboys lead to four with just inside a minute and a half to play.

Down five with just nine seconds left, redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra missed a free throw that would have made it a four-point game.

Cartier Diarra.jpg
Redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra dribbles the ball away from his defender during the game against the Universtiy of Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 21, 2020. The Wildcats fell to the Jayhawks with a final score of 81-60. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

After a defensive rebound by Oklahoma State, Diarra managed to steal the ball from Anei under the K-State basket, however, he promptly threw it out of bounds trying to find an open shooter in the corner.

“[Diarra] does some good things, but, for him it’s really all new. The ball is in his hands, it hasn’t been in his hands like this,” Weber said. “You learn and grow. He gives us a chance, but somebody’s gotta help us find a way to win.”

The Wildcats were led by McGuirl’s 16 points, followed by 15 from Diarra and 11 from Mawien. Diarra chipped in seven rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 36 minutes of play.

After dropping one of the more winnable — on paper — games of their conference slate, K-State heads to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on the TCU Horned Frogs Saturday, at 4 p.m. on ESPN+.

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.