With such stakes at hand, the Longhorns offense was largely absent from start to finish, especially down the stretch, and the result is a 58-48 loss that may prove to be the dagger in Texas’ NCAA Tournament dreams.
The Longhorns entered the evening at 16-11 (6-8), and despite the apparent sense of urgency surrounding the program’s immediate future, that was hardly apparent on the hardwood. Kansas State’s defense smothered the ‘Horns right out of the gate; an effort aided by minimal off-ball movement that forced Texas to settle for contested and often wild attempts.
That was ever-apparent entering the break, as Texas and Kansas State were deadlocked at 25 at halftime after the Longhorns shot 10-24 from the field and 1-6 from three, while the Wildcats offense suffered similarly to the tune of 8-28 from the field and 2-8 from deep.
Until the final minutes of the game, very little changed for either team.
Kansas State did open the second half on an 8-3 run, and entered the under-16 media timeout owning a 35-31 lead, but by the following media break, porous offense from both clubs saw the lead sit at just 37-34. Texas did manage to double Kansas State’s scoring output throughout the next couple of minutes, but that advantage was just six-to-three after a pair of Matt Coleman free throws tied the game at 40 with six minutes remaining.
After exchanging buckets and free throws throughout the next 1:11 to tie the game at 44, though, it was all Kansas State down the stretch.
Sparked by a Barry Brown and-one, which dealt Roach his fourth foul before he fouled out the following series, Kansas State enjoyed what became an 11-0 run after trailing 44-42.
FYI, tonight's 28.2 FG% is the second-lowest total in the Shaka Smart era. Texas shot 26% in China vs. Washington. No other games have been below 30%.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) February 22, 2018
Texas didn’t finally respond until 1:40 remained, as an Eric Davis Jr. layup cut the deficit to 53-46, but even then, Kansas State’s defense refused to allow Texas to get much closer.
Rather, it was the Wildcats that not only held the lead, but built upon it for the 10-point, 58-48 win that may cost Texas an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Now 16-12 (6-9), Texas still technically has time to salvage its season, but after losing four of its last five games, the odds of the Longhorns finding momentum with Oklahoma State, No. 8 Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., and No. 21 West Virginia remaining on the regular season slate are rather thin.
Texas will host the Cowboys on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CT.
- Coleman (14), Dylan Osetkowski (10), and Mohamed Bamba (9) combined for 33 points, but the rest of the Longhorns scored a total of just 15 points.
- Texas shot 16-56 from the field and just 2-18 from three.
- 14 of Texas’ 48 points came from the free throw line.
- The Longhorns finished with just five assists and eight bench points.