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MBB, WBB struggle, but track teams shine

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It was not the best of weekends for the Wildcats.

Track and Field: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start with the bad news first, shall we?

Kansas State played Texas A&M and lost 65-53. That this result was a surprise and a disappointment tells us plenty about this season and the state of the program so far. The loss ends Kansas State’s five-game winning streak and drops the program to 0-3 against the SEC on the road.

The Wildcats actually led 30-26 at the half, but a second half surge from the Aggies compounded the usually stingy Kansas State’s defense woes on the night. Texas A&M managed 51% shooting from the field and went 40% from beyond the arc. This was the poorest defensive effort from the team since the Marquette game earlier in the season.

In the second half, Kansas State’s offense was abysmal, as Luke Sobba notes in the post-game recap. The Wildcats were shot a collective 8-of-34 in the half and turned the ball over eight times. On a day when the defense was not up to its usual standards, the offensive slump was too much to overcome.

Up next, Kansas State will head to Stillwater for a 5 PM tilt against Oklahoma State on February 2.

The women fared no better over the weekend, and indeed may have hit a new low in a 60-30 loss to West Virginia. As with the men’s team, the loss ended a three-game winning streak and sent up several distress signals in the process. This was the team’s lowest points total since getting throttled by UConn in the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

Just how bad were the Wildcats in this game? Well, they shot just 20% from the field and went 0-fer from the three-point range. In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats managed all of four (4!) points. Nobody got to double digits in points, with even Kayla Goth and Peyton Williams only scoring eight each.

The women will return home for a two-game homestand beginning with a game against TCU on Wednesdsay night at 7 PM.

From the hardwood to the hard courts, Kansas State’s septem horribilis continued. At the ITA Kickoff Weekend, the tennis team lost to hosts No. 5 Georgia 7-0. Margot Decker and Anna Turco won their doubles match 6-2, but Georgia took the other two doubles matches to win the doubles point. In singles, Maria Linares came closest to making a dent in the Bulldogs, but lost in three sets.

Kansas State will head to Lincoln, Nebraska next Friday to take on the Cornhuskers.

The lone bright spot this weekend was the Kansas State track team. Performing against stiff competition at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, the Wildcats impressed. The men’s team finished seventh in the standings while the women finished fifth.

The most noteworthy performance of the weekend came from Aaron Booth in the men’s heptathlon. He finished in second place with a total of 5,819 points, just 46 points off the winning mark, and the second-best total in the NCAA this year. In the process, he set a new national record in his native New Zealand and finished just three points short of a new school record.

The Wildcats had three event winners over the weekend including Helene Ingvaldsen (women’s weight throw), Brett Neelly (men’s shot put), and Kassidy Johnson (women’s 800m).

The two track teams will head to Lincoln on February 1st for the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.