Those expecting another Kansas win were in for a rude awakening as the K-State Wildcats pulled away with a 85-82 victory over Kansas in overtime, last night in Bramlage Coliseum.
In years past, the home court advantage hasn’t really existed for the Wildcats (17-7, 7-4 Big 12) when it’s come time to play the Jayhawks (18-6, 9-2) in the Octagon of Doom. In fact, this is only K-State’s third win out of the last 26 games played in Manhattan, Kan., with their last win back in Feb. 2011.
You’d never know it based on the entire crowd of purple rushing the court at the end of overtime play, overjoyed at the ending of a six-game losing streak against their in-state rivals.
As a whole, the Wildcats stepped up, out-playing and out-shooting the No. 7 Jayhawks throughout the entire game.
Freshman Marcus Foster shone once again, leading both teams with 20 points (5-10 from the field and 4-5 from behind the arc), despite suffering what appeared to be a rolled ankle that sidelined him for a portion of the game.
Will Spradling contributed 15 points, leading the Wildcats in rebounds (6), assists (5) and steals (3). Sophomore D.J. Johnson also made himself known with two crucial blocks, four rebounds and nine points.
What made this game different from K-State’s last several match-ups against Kansas could be determined in the first minutes of the game. K-State came out with claws up, raring to go, and led Kansas for more than 15 minutes in the first half.
The collective effort from the Wildcats squad was aided by the Jayhawks defense playing well below its season averages. The Jayhawks allowed a season-high 85 points, the second-most amount of points scored by the Wildcats this season.
Kansas seriously lacked on the offensive end as well, missing key points from freshman Andrew Wiggins. For the second time this season, Wiggins was unable to make a field goal in the first half, going 0-3. It wouldn’t be until the second half of the game before Wiggins would land a few, coming away with 16 points by the end of overtime.
It was almost a role-reversal as Kansas suffered 17.6 percent shooting from behind the arc (3-17), normally points they can rely on. K-State, on the other hand, showed tremendous success shooting 53.3 percent, 8-15.
Despite their early, maintained lead, the Wildcats allowed the Jayhawks to tie it up 29-29 at the halfway mark. It seemed as if the Wildcats would regain their first half momentum and did, until the last few minutes of the game when they let go of their nine-point lead, allowing the score again to be tied up at the end of regulation.
Two free throws from Foster at the 21.9 second mark, and key misses from both Wiggins and Black allowed the Wildcats to secure their win at the end of overtime.
K-State will next travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears on Feb. 15 in the Ferrell Center. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT.