Texas Blocks its Way Past K-State, 62-49

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas used a stellar defensive effort, including an opponent school record-high 14 blocked shots, to post a 62-49 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon before 12,053 at the Frank Erwin Center.

With the loss, K-State (15-16, 8-10 Big 12) dropped to the No. 8 seed in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship where the Wildcats will play No. 9 seed TCU (17-13, 4-13 Big 12) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT. It marks the first time since 2006 that the squad will play on the tournament's opening day.

The 14 blocked shots by the Longhorns surpassed the previous opponent high of 12 set four times, lastly by George Washington on Dec. 8, 2012. Senior Jonathan Holmes accounted for 4 blocked shots to go with 10 points, while juniors Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh added 3 each.

Texas held K-State to just 36.4 percent shooting (20-of-55) from the field, including 33.3 percent (9-of-27) in the second half. The Wildcats also managed to shoot just 20 percent (2-of-10) from beyond the arc.

Senior Thomas Gipson and sophomore Marcus Foster led the Wildcats with 15 points each, while Gipson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to post his ninth career double-double and his first of the season.

Texas (19-12, 8-10 Big 12) were balanced on the offensive end, as junior Demarcus Holland led four players in double figures with 12 points off the bench, while junior Connor Lammert added 11 points.

K-State played without two key players, as senior Nino Williams (personal reasons) and sophomore Jevon Thomas (coach's decision) did not make the trip.

The Basics
Final Score: Texas 62, Kansas State 49
Records: Kansas State (15-16, 8-10 Big 12); Texas (19-12, 8-10 Big 12)
Attendance: 12,053 (paid)
Next Game: Wednesday, March 11 \\ vs. TCU (17-13, 4-13 Big 12) \\ 6 p.m. CT \\ ESPNU

The Short Story
• An impressive defensive performance helped Texas sweep the regular season series from K-State for the first time in the round-robin era and the first back-to-back wins in the series since 2005 and 2006.
• Texas posted an opponent high 14 blocked shots, including 10 in the first half.
• K-State was held to 49 points on 36.4 percent shooting, including 20 percent from 3-point range.
• The 49 points were the second-fewest in Big 12 play and the lowest since scoring 42 at Baylor on Feb. 21.
• The 16 games of 60 points or less are the most in the shot clock era (1985) and the most since registering 18 such games in 1982-83.
• K-State was held below 40 percent shooting from the field for the 15th time this season.
• Foster and Gipson led the way with 15 points each.
• With the loss, K-State finished in a three-way tie for sixth place with Oklahoma State and Texas. Due to tiebreakers, the Wildcats slipped to the No. 8 seed.

How It Happened | First Half
• K-State held as much as a 4-point lead in the early going, including 18-14 after a 3-pointer by Tre Harris at the 7:56 mark.
• Texas rallied to tie it at 20-all on a pair of free throws by Jonathan Holmes with 5:55 before halftime.
• A Foster jumper gave K-State the lead back at 24-23 at the 4:34 mark.
• A pair of free throws by Isaiah Taylor helped ignite an 11-0 run by Texas, as the Longhorns took their largest lead at 34-24 with 1:56 to go in the opening half.
• Two free throws by Nigel Johnson finished off the scoring in the first half, as K-State entered the locker room down 34-26 at the break.
• Texas connected on 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field in the first half compared to K-State's 39.3 percent shooting (11-of-28)... The Longhorns held a 15-13 edge on the glass.
• Texas had 10 blocks in the first half with Holmes and Ridley recording 3 each.
• Holland led all scorers with 10 points off the bench for Texas, while Foster had 9 for K-State.

How It Happened | Second Half
• Texas maintained its lead in the early part of the second half before K-State closed to the gap to 37-36 on a lay-up by Johnson with 13:25 to play.
• The Longhorns were able to stretch the lead back out before the Wildcats again closed it to 43-42 on a lay-up by Gipson at the 9:17 mark.
• However, just like the first half, Texas seized the momentum with a 13-3 run to stretch its advantage to 56-45 on a dunk by Holland with 6:06 remaining.
• The 13-3 run was keyed by back-to-back 3-point field goals by Holmes that pushed the lead to 51-45.
• The Longhorn lead stayed in double digits with the 13-point final margin the largest of the game.
• Neither team shot well in the second half with K-State hitting on 33.3 percent (9-of-27) to Texas' 32.1 percent (9-of-28), including a combined 2-of-14 from 3-point range.

Beyond the Boxscore
• K-State still leads the all-time series, 17-13, but Texas now holds a 14-12 mark in the Big 12 era, including 13-11 in the regular season... The Longhorns are now 8-6 all-time at home in the series.
• K-State will finish with a sub .500 Big 12 record for the first time since going 6-10 in 2005-06.
• K-State is now 2-12 away from home, including 1-10 in true road games and 1-8 in Big 12 road contests.
• Foster has now scored in double figures in 47 career games, including a team-best 20 this season.
• Gipson now has 61 double-digit scoring games in his career, including 17 this season.
• Gipson's double-double was his first this season and the first since posting 10 points and 13 rebounds at Oklahoma State on March 3, 2014.
• K-State used its 11th different starting lineup on Saturday with sophomore Nigel Johnson, sophomore Marcus Foster, sophomore Wesley Iwundu, junior Stephen Hurt and senior Thomas Gipson.

Quotable
• "I just asked them to expect and demand greatness from the game and I thought we came out and played with that determination and toughness. We kept talking about being resilient and fighting through it. I think it caught up with us not having a couple guys. We got tired, that and the foul trouble with Wesley (Iwundu). He plays a minute and a half in the first half and he's been a big factor for us and that just kind of wore us down. We cut it down to one or three in the second half and about midway through I thought we were playing pretty well. The one time Thomas (Gipson) gets the dunk, falls down and then they beat us down and I believe that's when they hit a three. We just couldn't overcome it. Thomas was big time with 15 and 11; he played with great energy the last two games. I hope that can continue into the tournament. But we just needed somebody else to really step up and give us something special and we didn't have that there," said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
• K-State begins play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Wednesday, as the No. 8 seed Wildcats face No. 9 seed TCU (17-13, 4-13 Big 12) at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU. The winner of this first-round match-up will face No. 1 seed Kansas (24-7, 13-5 Big 12) in the second quarterfinal game at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The teams split their two meetings this past season with K-State winning 58-53 at home on Jan. 7 and TCU returning the favor in Fort Worth by a score of 69-55 on Feb. 18.