The Kansas State Wildcats, prior to today’s game against the Texas Longhorns, struggled through a daunting Big 12 schedule. The Wildcats were barely above .500 with a 5-4 mark and desperately needed a victory against Texas. A win would not only get the Wildcats back on track in the conference race, but would boost their resume for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. With the Wildcats in a must-win game, Kansas State played their best performance all season.
Led by freshman Marcus Foster‘s 34 points, Kansas State dominated the 15th-ranked Longhorns from start to finish. A 12-0 run early in the game turned a previously intriguing game into a rout. Texas certainly helped the Wildcats’ cause, committing 10 first-half turnovers and trailing by 21 at halftime. Defensively, Kansas State was sharp as well, holding Texas to 33 percent shooting and a mere five for 14 from three-point range. Offensively, Foster carried the way, scoring his 34 points on 13-for-16 shooting, including five threes. The Wildcats as a team shot 54 percent from the field and were 8-for-13 from three-point range against a previously-stout Texas defense.
Kansas State is a very dangerous team in the Big 12 race going forward. Foster has earned his way into discussions for Big 12 Freshman of the Year with his great season in Manhattan. Foster is not, however, the only dangerous threat for the Wildcats. Both sharpshooter Will Spradling and Shane Southwell are capable of making big plays in big-time moments. The road doesn’t get any easier for the Wildcats as they face in-state rival Kansas at home on Monday, giving the Wildcats another chance to improve their tournament resume and to gain some ground on the league-leading Jayhawks.
Head coach Bruce Weber has his team playing great late in the season and the Wildcats can carry the momentum from this game into a ever-important finishing stretch.