Manhattan, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Big 12 Conference teams seeking an end to losing streaks mix it up at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, as the Kansas State Wildcats play host to the 25th-ranked Texas Longhorns.
Texas is in the midst of a four-game slide, with its most recent setback occurring on Wednesday night versus visiting Oklahoma State in a 65-63 overtime affair. As a result, the Longhorns come into this clash at 14-8 overall, and just 3-6 in conference. UT is just 3-4 in true road games this season, having lost its last two, and three of its last four on enemy hardwood.
Kansas State has dropped three in a row, the most recent being a 64-47 disappointment at Texas Tech on Wednesday night. The Wildcats have actually lost four of their last five, which came on the heels of a four-game win streak. As it is, K-State is just a game over .500 overall at 12-11, and is an even 5-5 in Big 12 action. With a victory over Texas, the 'Cats would win their 11th home game in 14 opportunities this season.
Kansas State owns a 17-11 lead in the all-time series with Texas, and that includes a 9-3 mark in Manhattan. The two teams will close out the regular season against each other on March 7 in Austin.
Isaiah Taylor poured in 18 points, Demarcus Holland had 14 and Cameron Ridley 12 for Texas, but those efforts went for naught as the Longhorns came up just short in overtime against visiting Oklahoma State on Wednesday night. Taylor was guilty of seven of the team's 18 turnovers in the game, and the team was outscored off miscues by an 18-4 margin. The 'Horns did a solid job defending, as the Cowboys connected on only 38.5 percent of their field goal attempts. Both teams were efficient from long range, with each going 5-of-10 on 3-point tries.
For the season, Texas is putting up just shy of 70 ppg, thanks in large part to a 73.8 percent performance at the free-throw line. The team features four double-digit scorers in Taylor (13.8 ppg, 4.2 apg), Jonathan Holmes (11.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Myles Turner (11.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.8 bpg) and Javan Felix (10.2 ppg). From a defensive standpoint, the Longhorns permit only 60.3 ppg, with foes shooting just 36.5 percent from the field, and UT is one of the top rebounding teams in the country, laying claim to a whopping +10.4 differential. Unfortunately, they are guilty of nearly 14 turnovers per outing.
Kansas State put forth a poor effort at both ends of the court in its recent loss to Texas Tech, as it shot just 38.8 percent from the floor while allowing the Red Raiders to convert 53.7 percent of their total shots. Thomas Gipson was the only player for the Wildcats to reach double figures, as he tallied 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Tre Harris was close to joining him, with his nine points coming on a 3-of-8 showing from 3-point land. KSU attempted only six free throws in the game, converting three of them, while Tech went 11-of-17 and got double-digit scoring from three players, including Devaugntah Williams with 22 points.
Kansas State has had its issues at the offensive end this season, as its scoring average of 64.2 ppg ranks ninth in the 10-team conference. The Wildcats do however, rank third in both field goal percentage (.447) and 3- point field goal percentage (.354). Marcus Foster (14.0 ppg) is listed as the sixth-leading scorer in the Big 12, but he has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, leaving Gipson (11.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Nino Williams (11.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) as the only active double-digit scorers for a club that has performed well on defense in yielding just 63.0 ppg.