After falling behind quickly, the Kansas State basketball team tied the Texas Longhorns at 12. From there, the Longhorns held K-State for nearly seven minutes en route to an 82-67 blow out of the Wildcats in Austin, Texas, on Saturday night.
The Texas lead ballooned to 28 points in that time and K-State never really got a chance to make a game of it after that.
“We still had passion. We still wanted to win the game,” freshman center Davion Bradford said. “Second half we tried to keep that energy and push. Keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing and do anything we needed to do to keep fighting. … The whole team, we hate losing.”
Bradford lead K-State with 14 points and seven rebounds in nearly 26 minutes of play.
The Wildcats, who were missing a few scholarship players, did see the debut of freshman guard Luke Kasubke. The 6-foot-5 shooter had missed the first half of the season due to a torn ligament he suffered in September. He recorded a rebound in 11 minutes of play.
“It felt great to finally be out there. I just wish we could have won,” Kasubke said.
They also returned sophomore forward Antonio Gordon who hadn’t played since before Christmas due to an injury. Gordon scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in 23 minutes.
During the pivotal first half run, the Longhorns employed a tough full-court press defense that turned the Wildcats over repeatedly. K-State recorded eight first-half turnovers.
‘We’ll just do our best’: Shorthanded K-State set for match-up with No. 4 Texas
“I did not think we would struggle with their press,” Weber said. “Those 3-4 turnovers against the press lead to layups, then they beat us in transition.”
Bradford also mentioned the team played better against the press in practice than they did in the game.
The Wildcats wound up outscoring Texas in the second half while the Longhorns coasted to their win.
“Credit to our guys. They did not quit. They battled,” Weber said. “We talked about getting assists in the second half. We had two assists at halftime, we got 10 in the second half. We shot 57 percent. When we move the basketball and play together and secure the basketball, we’re not a bad team.”
K-State, who struggled on offense at times this season, did not have a bad shooting night in general. They shot 43 percent overall — including a 57 percent second half — and 37 percent from three.
K-State’s next action will be a Tuesday night trip to Norman, Oklahoma, to play the Oklahoma Sooners at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
“We all have to be better. We gotta take responsibility and it starts with me,” Weber said.