The Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team continued their roll through conference play, this time getting a balanced scoring effort on the road to beat the Texas Longhorns 71-64. The Wildcats struggled a bit in the first half, but rode a surge in the second (this appears to be a trend), as our own Luke Sobba notes in his recap, to keep themselves firmly atop the Big 12 standings. Barry Brown Jr. and Xavier Sneed had 16 points apiece to pace the Wildcats, while Dean Wade added 12, and Kamau Stokes and Makol Mawein each dropped in 11 (Green, C-J).
The only other Wildcat to score was Mike McGuirl, who dropped in 5 points off the bench, in his first game as the primary replacement for key 6th-man Cartier Diarra, who is out indefinitely after a “freak accident” to his right ring finger required surgery. The loss of Diarra was the key source of the Wildcats first half frustrations, as McGuirl and freshman guard Shaun Neal-Williams struggled to fill in for Cartier.
Overall, this might have been one of Bruce Weber’s best coaching performances, using timeouts early to settle his guys and prevent Texas from pulling away while the Wildcats were struggling early, as well as doing the unthinkable — switching to a zone defense during the second half to confound the Longhorns (Robinett, Eagle). Weber prefers man-to-man, and looked visibly uncomfortable while the Wildcats were in zone, but it was key in K-State’s second-half comeback.
The MittieCats are back in action tonight, and will hope that their two-game win streak will give them enough momentum to hang with the Baylor Bears — aka the No. 1 team in the country and the first team in forever to give UConn a regular-season loss — in a 7pm contest from Bramlage Colisuem. The game should be available on ESPN3 with Brian Smoller (play-by-play) and Missy Heidrick (analyst) on the call and on select stations on the K-State Sports Network with Matt Walters (play-by-play) and Kristin Waller (analyst) on the call.
One thing that has helped the Wildcats recently is that freshman guard Chrissy Carr is learning to be more composed and patient during games, and allow shots to come to her instead of trying to force things.
In expected, yet still disappointing news, running back Mike McCoy has announced that due to a serious medical condition with his spine, he is retiring from football. The talented sophomore was never able to make much impact during his career, but showed flashes of potential that kept Wildcat fans hoping he could make it back. According to K-State, McCoy will remain on scholarship through the remainder of his eligibility, and will remain a part of the Wildcat program in some capacity.
Led by freshman Briony Bayles and her 5-over 218, the Wildcat women’s golf team finished second at the Texas State Invitational on Tuesday to kick off their spring schedule.