Wildcats drop duel with Musketeers

CINCINNATI, Ohio Kansas State was unable to make Bob Huggins’ return to Cincinnati a victorious one as the Wildcats dropped a 76-66 decision to Xavier at US Bank Arena Wednesday night.

David Hoskins scored 17 points before fouling out with 4:44 to play and Lance Harris added nine points to lead Kansas State (10-4), which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

The Wildcats also got eight points each from Cartier Martin, Bill Walker and Blake Young, but a 12-for-22 effort at the free throw line and 19 turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.

Stanley Burrell led all scorers with 23 points, including hitting 10-of-10 at the charity stripe, and Justin Doellman chipped in with 15 points for Xavier (10-4), which scored all of its final 32 points either in the paint or at the free-throw line.

Kansas State got out to a hot start in the first half and led 22-18 with just over eight minutes to go after back-to-back layups by Walker.

The Wildcats, however, missed their next four shots from the field and turned the ball over five times over then next five minutes as Xavier used a 14-0 run to build a 32-22 lead.

K-State settled down late in the period and had a chance to slice the Musketeers’ lead to five just before the break. But Martin was unable to convert two free throws following a Xavier technical foul and Walker missed a pair of charity tosses just 25 second before intermission, sending the Wildcats to the locker room down 39-30.

A layup by Hoskins to open the second-half scoring sliced Xavier’s lead to seven, but the Musketeers responded with an 11-3 run to take a 52-35 lead with 14:35 remaining.

A 9-2 spurt pulled Kansas State within 10 at 68-58 with 5:39 to go, however the Wildcats were only able to manage a lone layup by Walker over the next four minutes as Xavier pushed its lead back to 16 points before K-State score the final six points of the game to provide the final outcome.

Kansas State opens Big 12 Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 6, at No. 11 Texas A&M. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CST) from Reed Arena in College Station with the game being televised by ESPN+Plus.