Foster's Buzzer Beater Does it Again
In the Wildcats' wild, 59-56, win over No. 17 Oklahoma (17-8, 8-5 Big 12), Bramlage Coliseum experienced a déjå vu moment as, in the game's final seconds, Foster made a three-pointer and secured the win for K-State (13-13, 6-7 Big 12).
It was the same shot - almost identically - as the shot Foster made in Norman, Oklahoma, earlier this season that surged K-State to a thrilling, 66-63, overtime win over the Sooners on the road.
"It's so ironic," said K-State head coach Bruce Weber after last night's game about Foster's buzzer-beater shot. "It was the exact same shot. To beat them twice, it's pretty amazing for him to do that. It was even a cleaner look than last time."
Despite being ahead by seven points in the final minutes, the Sooners clawed their way back into the game taking advantage of a nearly three-minute scoring drought from the Wildcats.
With just one minute to go, back-to-back free throws from Oklahoma's Jordan Woodard tied the game, 56-56. Never giving in, in the game's final seconds, a defensive rebound followed by a gritty offensive rebound from Wesley Iwundu, gave the Wildcats an opportunity for one final shot.
Iwundu tossed the ball back to Foster, and the rest is history.
"The biggest thing was to play hard and defend and those were the things that got us over the hump and gave us a chance," said K-State head coach Bruce Weber. "We let up a little bit of a lead by being casual, we weren't very smart down the stretch, but the players played their butts off in the end. We defended one of the best offensive teams in the country. We held them to 37 percent [shooting], 56 points. That gave us a chance to win a game."
Overall, Foster led the team in scoring with 14 points, while senior forward Nino Williams followed closely behind with 13 points and a team-leading eight rebounds. Wesley Iwundu's nine points and six rebounds as well as his solid coverage on defense of Oklahoma high scorer Buddy Hield also played a key impact on the win.
"K-State has battled hard all year," said Oklahoma head coach, former Wildcat basketball player and coach, Lon Kruger. "Bruce has done a great job of keeping them working and they've had different lineups, but they've worked hard. They work hard and every film (I watched) looked the same in terms of great intensity. It's not always easy to do when you've got different things happening from a lineup stand point, but Bruce has done a great job with it."
Last night's win snapped a 5-game losing skid for the Wildcats. While K-State men's basketball has seen some tough times in the past few weeks, if there is one thing that has been proven true game in and game out, it has never backed down.
"It shows that we haven't given up," said Iwundu about last night's win. "We carry a lot of heart; we still care. This season is not over to us. Never once did we ever think about quitting or giving up on the season. We're going to fight to the last game."
Up next for the Wildcats is a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on the TCU Horned Frogs (15-10, 2-10) on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Wilkerson-Greinas Center. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest and FOX Sports Midwest Plus.
"We have grown up (over this stretch)," said Williams. "Throughout the season teams get better. Marcus was out, I was injured for a little bit, we had some minor setbacks, but as a team, we're together. We still believe in each other and we still care."
For a complete recap, notes, stats, quotes and more on yesterday's game, please click here.
LEWIS READY TO GET BACK IN ACTION
Coming off one of the best performances of her career last week, K-State women's basketball sophomore forward Breanna Lewis is ready to get back on the court and compete again.
"I was proud of my team for having a great game like that," said Lewis about the Wildcats' 93-79 win over TCU Wednesday evening. "We played really well overall. So I'm excited. It makes me excited to play more games like that with this team."
The best offensive performance of the year for the Wildcats, K-State's win over TCU marked the first game in a decade that the Wildcat women scored more than 90 points in a conference game.
"It was fun. It feels good to score and just to get those points," explained Lewis, whose career-high 28 points surged K-State, "but it feels even better when you're doing well as a team. That win was great for us."
Coming off of that "great win," the Wildcats have now won four of their last five games and are excited to get back on the court today.
The second of their two-game home stand, the Wildcats (15-8, 5-7 Big 12) return to Bramlage Coliseum this afternoon as the team is set to take on the Texas Tech Lady Raiders (14-10, 4-8 Big 12) at 1 p.m.
"It'll be nice to play at home again," said head coach Jeff Mittie on Friday afternoon. "It's been a while since we've had back to back home games, so it's nice to stay around here then be back in Bramlage on Sunday afternoon."
The last time the Wildcats and Lady Raiders matched up - Jan. 31 in Lubbock, Texas - K-State won, 41-38. It was a close, somewhat sloppy game, but it marked K-State's first true road victory of the 2014-15 season.
"It's going to be a tough game because they're a great team with great players," said Lewis. "We have to come in with the focus we had (vs. TCU) and bring that to the court this game. If we do, I feel like we'll do very well."
For a closer look at today's game please click here.
Happy Birthday, Willie Wildcat!
The Wildcats' beloved mascot will celebrate his big day throughout today's game. Helping him celebrate, a few of his favorite mascot friends will be coming together at halftime for special dance-off.
For tickets to this afternoon's game, fans can call (800) 221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets
TENNIS SUCCESSFUL IN DOUBLE HEADER
K-State women's tennis had a successful day yesterday as the team racked up back-to-back wins in its double-header at Body First Tennis and Fitness Center.
The Wildcats opened the day with a quick 4-0 win over UMKC and followed that performance with a 7-0 win over Emporia State. K-State tennis has now won three consecutive matches.