You might not have been able (or wanted to pay extra) to see it, but the No. 11/12 Wildcats finally started to put some things together in the opening round of the Paradise Jam, posting a 95-68 victory last night. Xavier Sneed led all scorers with 16 points, Dean Wade finally started to look like he did before his injury late in the 2017-18 season, and Cartier Diarra regained his form as well, knocking down 14 points in 25 minutes while taking time from Barry Brown, who was in foul trouble early (Robinett, Eagle). It was a bit of an interesting game, as there was a stoppage of play late in the first half due to a rain delay, caused by a leak in the roof of at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center; but the Wildcats weathered the storm to advance to the Paradise Jam semifinals against the Penn Quakers (Green, Capital-Journal).
The MittieCats were also in action last night, and were without the services of starting forward Peyton Williams (who is still starting for the playoff-hunting VolleyCats, and will be needed later today for a critical match). The Cats did something last night they had yet to do to start the 2018-19 season: start strong. A 22-point first quarter put the Cats up big early, and K-State held off a 3rd-quarter surge from the Mean Green to top North Texas 60-42 in Bramlage Coliseum to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Speaking of the VolleyCats, it’s a true Texas Tech double-header today, as the Wildcats will take on the Red Raiders in Ahearn just an hour or two after the football team does (the volleyball version of the Red Raiders...though it might be interesting to watch the Red Raiders football team try to play D1 volleyball). The Senior Night match, with first serve at 8pm CST, holds postseason implications for the Wildcats, who are sitting at 14-11 (4-10) right now, but boast an RPI of 40 and are sitting firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. A win tonight would help bolster the Wildcats case for the post season, while a loss might push them off the bubble.
If you can’t make it to Ahearn Fieldhouse tonight, the match will be streaming live on ESPN3/ESPN app with Mitch Fortner (play-by-play) and Liz Wegner-Busch (analyst) on the call.
It’s a cold one in Manhattan today, so it may just be what’s needed for the Wildcats to pull this one out...at least it’s part of what’s needed, according to our own Drew Schneider who previews today’s game. At the Eagle, Kellis’ pregame primer doesn’t predict Wildcat victory; and in his weekly Q&A tries to answer the question we’ve all been asking: Is this Snyder’s last home game?