In a game that started with much running and gunning, the No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats finally fell to the Texas Longhorns in Austin, by a buzzer beating shot from forward Jonathan Holmes, 67-64.
Holmes’ last-second 3-pointer put Texas (15-4, 4-2 Big 12) over the top, giving them their second straight victory over a ranked team and fourth consecutive conference win.
While the two teams were somewhat evenly paced throughout the entire game, Texas ultimately pulled away with the lead in each half.
The Longhorns outshot the Wildcats (14-5, 4-2 Big 12) 51.7 percent to 45.2 percent in field goals and 66.7 percent to 25 percent in free throws in the first half, squeaking by with a 36-32 lead at the break.
Though K-State shot better than Texas in the second half, especially in free throws, it wasn’t enough to result in a victory due to their defensive deficiency at game’s end.
Thomas Gipson again demonstrated his improving agility and ability with some impressive moves against Longhorn Cameron Ridley under the basket all night. Gipson ended the game with 24 points, five rebounds and a steal.
Ridley had his own success with 18 points, six rebounds, three blocks and a steal during his 26 minutes of play.
Contributing to K-State’s loss were missing points from key players Shane Southwell and Marcus Foster. Southwell and Foster, who had 20 and 15 points respectively against West Virginia on Saturday, only had 13 and 8 points in the game.
Longhorn Javan Felix also had a noteworthy game, with 23 points, four rebounds and an assist. However, Felix’s most significant two baskets came late in the match, maintaining Texas’ lead.
The intensity of the final five seconds of the game was palpable as Southwell landed an awkward lay-up that tied the game 64 all.
After a shaky inbounds pass at three seconds left and prompt timeout, Isaiah Taylor dished the ball out to Holmes who sank the game-winning 3-pointer over the heads of the K-State defense as the clock ran out and sealed the match.
Texas is experiencing some lift in the Big 12 after this win and their previous win against Iowa State, which is significant considering last year when they experienced their first losing season in 15 years.
The Wildcats will conclude this week’s road series with a battle in Aimes, Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. The game will be aired on the Big 12 Network.