The Kansas State men’s basketball team (5-3, 0-0) had the ball in its hands with a shot to win against Marquette (8-2, 0-0), but sophomore Ish Massoud could not get the reverse layup to land as the Wildcats fell 64-63 on Wednesday.
In a packed, lavendered-out Bramlage Coliseum, K-State head coach Bruce Weber couldn’t get the best of ex-Texas head coach Shaka Smart, who now runs the program at Marquette.
“I was really happy with the crowd,” Weber said. “It’s done and over with. It hurts. We just got to get people back healthy.”
In a sloppy game on both sides, the Wildcats and Golden Eagles kept it a close contest throughout the night. K-State led by six early on and Marquette reached a seven-point lead late in the game.
Super-senior Mark Smith led the Wildcats offensively with 17 points in the second straight contest without their leading scorer, sophomore Nijel Pack, who is out with a concussion. Also reaching double figures were sophomore Ish Massoud with 16 points and junior Markquis Nowell with 11 points. Nowell also found 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Smith, Massoud, Nowell, super-senior Mike McGuirl (six points) and junior Kaosi Ezeagu (two points) started for K-State. Also on the stat sheet were sophomores Davion Bradford (nine points) and Selton Miguel (two points).
“Selton strained his knee in practice yesterday,” Weber said. “It showed that he didn’t have that ‘pop’ that he needed.”
The Wildcats finished a poor 11 for 20 on layups, and players showed their frustration with themselves and their teammates often when mistakes were made. Eleven turnovers hurt the team as well.
“How many layups did we miss again? Probably in the first half, if you make your layups, you’re up six, eight points,” Weber said.
Freshman Kam Jones led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 15, with freshman Justin Lewis scoring 14. Junior Greg Elliott and super-seniors Darryl Morsell and Kur Kuath all recorded eight points for Marquette.
The Golden Eagles shot the second-most three-pointers ever attempted against the Wildcats with 37, connecting on 11 of them. Jones led the way with four of his own.
K-State will take on Green Bay at 4 p.m., Dec. 12 in Bramlage. The game will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Stay up-to-date with the Collegian for updates and recaps.