Wildcats get big road win at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. Clent Stewart scored a career-high 19 points and David Hoskins added 18 as Kansas State held on for a big 85-81 win over Missouri Saturday at Mizzou Arena.

Kansas State (11-6, 1-2 Big 12) combined to connect on a season-high 37 free throws on 43 attempts, including a perfect 12-for-12 effort by Hoskins, who was one of five Wildcats to score in double figures.

K-State also got 16 points from Columbia native Lance Harris and 15 from Cartier Martin, who hit three critical free throws in the final 13 seconds to hand Missouri (11-5, 0-3 Big 12) just its second home loss of the season.

In addition to converting a season-high 86 percent at the free-throw line, Kansas State also finished with a dominating 41-17 margin on the glass, including a hefty 13-2 edge on the offensive end of the floor that helped mask a season-high 24 turnovers.

Akeem Wright managed just two points, but cleared a game-high eight rebounds. He also held Mizzou’s leading scorer, Stefhon Hannah to a season-low seven points 11 below his average on just 2-for-9 shooting.

The Tigers did get a game-high 28 points from Marshall Brown and 13 more from Jason Horton, but Missouri was never able to go on top in the second half, despite closing within two points twice in the final two minutes.

Five different Wildcats scored during a 17-5 run early in the second half as Kansas State built a 16-point lead for 56-40 advantage with 13:36 to play.

Mizzou responded with an 11-0 spurt of its own as Brown bookended the run with a jumper and a 3-pointer to make it 56-51 just over two minutes later.

Stewart and Hoskins combined for six straight points as the Wildcats pushed their lead back to double figures at 73-60 at the five-minute mark.

But Missouri would not go away. Brown rallied the Tigers with five points and J.T. Tiller drained a 3-pointer with 1:57 to cap a 13-2 Mizzou run that sliced K-State lead to 75-73.

The Wildcats, however, continued their near-perfect free throw shooting and missed just two of their final 12 attempts over the final 90 seconds, with Martin finally icing the game from the stripe by making two with seven seconds to play for the final points of the game.

Five ties and five lead changes highlighted the early going until Kansas State forged some breathing room midway through the first half when Martin keyed a 12-2 Wildcat run with a pair of free throws and a 3-point play for a 32-22 lead.

Missouri responded and cut K-State’s advantage to just five with a little over a minute to play in the half. But Blake Young, who would go on to finish with 11 points, netted a pair of free throws and Stewart canned a long 3-pointer from the wing to make it 39-29 at the break.

Kansas State returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 17, when the Wildcats host Baylor at Bramlage Coliseum. Tip off is at 7 p.m.