Feb. 11, 2014
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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Freshman Marcus Foster scored a game-high 20 points, as Kansas State pulled off a 85-82 victory against No. 7/7 Kansas in overtime Monday night in a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum.
This is the first win for the Wildcats against the Jayhawks in three years with the last win (84-68) coming Feb. 14, 2011 in Manhattan. It also represented the 100th win over a ranked team in school history and the second against a ranked opponent in three days.
“I could not be more proud of our guys,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “I am just so happy for them, the seniors; we talk about leaving a legacy. They wanted to follow the legacy of the class above them. For the rest of their life, they will remember this.”
The win was the 13th consecutive at home for K-State (17-6, 7-3 Big 12), which moved to 30-2 in home games under Weber, including 14-1 in Big 12 play. The 13-game home court winning streak is the longest since the team won 14 in a row from Jan. 15, 2011 to Jan. 7, 2012.
K-State again played with suffocating defense, holding Kansas to a season-low 17.6 percent (3-of-17) shooting from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks also shot 41.8 percent (28-of-67) from the field, including a paltry 34.6 percent in the first half.
A very close game throughout, neither team had a lead reach double-digits as there were 20 lead changes in total. The largest lead of the first half for K-State came at the 13:13 mark when Spradling hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Wildcats up, 13-6.
Kansas came back late to take the lead, 24-23, at the 4:00 mark, but Foster hit a key 3-pointer to put the Wildcats back up with three minutes left. The teams would trade possessions to a first-half tie, 29-29.
The Jayhawks would not go away coming back within two with 20 seconds left in regulation. After a missed shot by the Wildcats; Kansas standout freshman Andrew Wiggins tipped-in a rebound with just four seconds left in regulation.
“I told them--all you worked too hard to not grab this game,” Weber said. “They came right out and make a basket and we could have let it go from there.”
After Kansas took an early lead in overtime, Foster converted on an old fashioned three-point play at the 3:20 mark and the Wildcats never looked back, earning Weber his first victory over the Jayhawks.
The Wildcats again shared the ball effectively, dishing out 19 assists on 30 field goals, which is the most Kansas has given up to a team this season.
Senior Will Spradling was very efficient throughout the game scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also added five assists and a team- and career-high six rebounds. With his five assists tonight, Spradling also became the sixth Wildcat in history to rack up 300 assists, and the first Wildcat to do so since Jacob Pullen.
“Will (Spradling) kind of struggled early in the season, but he has come around and is on a good run now. Hopefully, he has a good finish to his career,” Weber said. “He does so many little things that people do not notice or appreciate.”
K-State`s offense was also firing on all cylinders, connecting on 30-of-61 attempts from the field including a season-high 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the three-point line.
K-State`s bench was key in tonight’s victory, as the Wildcats scored a season-high 30 points led by sophomore D.J. Johnson and senior Omari Lawrence, who each contributed nine points.
“Tonight, we came back and I think we outscored their bench 30-26,” Weber said. “That is a key with them, because they have so many players and they can keep coming at you in so many different ways.”
Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with 19 points, while Wiggins added 16.
Despite losing the rebounding battle, 43-32, the Wildcats were able to stay with the Jayhawks in the paint scoring, match the Jayhawks’ 38 points. K-State has now outscored or tied 15 opponents in the paint this season.
Kansas State hits the road this weekend, as the Wildcats travel to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor (14-9, 2-8 Big 12) on Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
The squad will next be at home on Wednesday, Feb. 19, as they play host to TCU (9-13, 0-10 Big 12) at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced as low as $25 by calling the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS or online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets.