Wildcats lose to Longhorns in Austin in one-sided foulfest

11 Feb

The Longhorns shot 48 free throws. The Wildcats shot 12 free throws – and none in the second half. Predictably, Texas parlayed its enormous advantage at the foul line into a come-from-behind 75-64 victory in Austin.

The Wildcats led 40-27 at halftime but ended up falling to 6-6 in conference play in a stunning loss. While players did not speak to the media, coach Frank Martin credited Texas for attacking and defending their own court and quickly turned the focus to the future.

“We have the same opportunity on Monday,” Martin said.

The Wildcats have just the remainder of today and Sunday to recover from the loss and prepare for their Big Monday matchup with No. 10 Kansas. In the teams’ first meeting this season, which coincided with the beginning of Big 12 play, the Jayhawks delivered a resounding defeat of the Wildcats, 67-49, in Allen Fieldhouse.

As such is the case, Kansas State has a powerful distraction from its collapse and subsequent loss on Saturday afternoon. Against Texas, the Wildcats made 51.9 percent of their shots in the first half but only 32.3 percent of their shots in the second half. Conversely, the Longhorns made 28 percent of their shots in the first half and continued to convert 68.8 percent in the second half.

While the foul discrepancy was outlandish, the differences in shooting percentages clarify the picture. The Wildcats had a variety of scoring in the first half with Adrian Diaz dominating inside early while Rodney McGruder and Will Spradling found some rhythm from the outside. Myck Kabongo exploited Kansas State’s defense often early, but the Wildcats went on a 21-6 run to end the half with a 13-point lead.

In the second half, Texas jumped out to a 16-4 run to pull within 44-43 of the Wildcats. Kansas State fought the advances for awhile, but eventually the Longhorns took a 56-54 lead and never relinquished it. Neither McGruder nor Spradling scored, and the Wildcats’ big men played limited minutes because of the foul trouble.

J’Covan Brown scored 23 points, and Alex Wangmene added 15 points and 13 rebounds. Angel Rodriguez led Kansas State with 15 points.

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