AUSTIN, Texas – All five starters scored in double figures, including a career-best 36 points from senior Markquis Nowell, as Kansas State broke the school record for points in a 116-103 victory at No. 6/6 Texas on Tuesday night to hand the Longhorns their first loss in the brand-new Moody Center before a sold-out crowd of 10,763 fans.
The point total not only broke the school record, but it also tied the Big 12 record for most points scored in a conference game, as Baylor scored 116 in a win at Texas A&M on Jan. 23, 2008.
The 116 points eclipsed the previous mark of 115, which first came against Delaware State on Dec. 7, 1991, then again vs. Fresno State in the NIT on March 24, 1994. It was also the most-ever in a road game, surpassing the 108 at Iowa State on Jan. 29, 1975, while it was most in a conference game, topping the 114 scored against Nebraska at home on Jan. 10, 1987, and the most in a Big 12 game, surpassing the 111 vs. Missouri at home on Jan. 3, 1998
According to ESPN Stats & Info, K-State’s 116 points marked the most by an unranked team in a win over a top-10 opponent since Missouri scored 119 against Iowa State in 1988.
Nowell led a tremendous all-around effort by the Wildcats, who connected on 61 percent (36-of-59) from the field, including 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from 3-point range, and set a school-record by hitting on 93.9 percent (31-of-33) of their attempts from the free throw line. It marked the first time the team has shot better than 60 percent against a Big 12 opponent since 2018, while the 13 treys tied for the sixth-most made in a conference game.
Nowell nearly became the first player in school history with a 30-point, 10-assist game, as he dished out a game-high 9 assists to go with 3 steals in 38 minutes. His 36 points came on 9-of-14 field goals, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line. It was the seventh-most points by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points vs. Oklahoma State on Jan. 10, 2018.
Nowell was joined in double figures by senior Keyontae Johnson, who tied his career-high with 28 points to go with a near double-double himself with a game-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists, along with a career-best 17 points from sophomore Cam Carter, as well as 11 and 10 points, respectively from junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and senior Abayomi Iyiola. All eight players who saw action on the night scored at least 2 points.
The victory was the second straight over a Top 25 opponent, including the first over a Top 10 team on the road since knocking off No. 2 Baylor, 56-54, in Waco, Texas on Feb. 4, 2017.
K-State’s winning streak is now 7 games, which is the longest since also winning 7 games from Nov. 30-Dec. 30, 2016. The Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) continued their best start to a season since 2009-10, while they opened league play 2-0 for the first time since 2013-14.
Texas (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) became just the 17th team to score 100 points against K-State, posting 103 on 51.5 percent (35-of-68) shooting, including 40.7 percent (11-of-27) from 3-point range, while knocking down 84.6 percent (22-of-26) from the line. Three Longhorns scored in double figures led by the tandem of graduate Marcus Carr (29 points) and sophomore Tyrese Hunter (27 points), who combined for 56 points on 18-of-33 shooting, including 9-of-19 from 3-point range, and a perfect 11-of-11 effort from the free throw line.
The victory was the second consecutive in Austin, as K-State handed Texas its first loss in the last season of the Frank Erwin Center and the first loss in the Moody Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State enjoyed a strong start to the game, as a Nowell 3-pointer keyed an 12-3 run that forced Texas to its first timeout at the 16:44 mark. Nowell was one of four Wildcats to score in the opening spurt, which included 4 from senior Abayomi Iyiola, 3 from junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and 2 from senior Keyontae Johnson.
A dunk by Johnson extended the lead to 18-7 before the Longhorns answered with an 8-0 run, which was bookended by 3-pointers by graduates Marcus Carr and Sir’Jabari Rice, that cut the deficit to 18-15. K-State ended the rally with a 3-pointer from senior Desi Sills, which ignited an 11-2 overall run that extended the lead to 34-19 to force another timeout by Texas with 9:09 before halftime. The run included 9 straight points from the Wildcats, including 6 in a row from sophomore Cam Carter.
K-State continued to grow the lead in the first half, which included twice leading by 18 points. A 7-2 run to end the half gave the Wildcats a 58-40 advantage at the break, which included 5 points from senior Markquis Nowell. The 58 points, which came on 63.6 percent (21-of-33) shooting, were the most in a half since 2008.
K-State maintained its double-digit lead, building as much as a 20-point lead at 75-55 with 14:44 to play after a 10-2 run that included 3-pointers by Tomlin and Nowell. Texas was able to cut into the deficit with a 10-0 run that brought the Longhorns to within 77-68 with just over 11 to play, but 5 straight points from Johnson pushed the Wildcats’ lead back into double figures at 82-70 near the midway point.
Texas again whittled the deficit to single digits to 89-82 with just 7 to play, but K-State answered with 7 of the next 10 points to push ahead at 96-85 on a 3-pointer by Carter with 5:34 remaining.
A pair of free throws helped the Wildcats eclipse the 100-point barrier with 3:23 to play, which was followed by his sixth 3-pointer to extend the lead to 103-88. Although the Longhorns continued to fight, closing to within 110-101 with 64 seconds left, Nowell and Johnson combined to go a perfect 6-of-6 from the line for the final margin.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Markquis Nowell scored a career-high 36 points, the seventh-most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game, while dishing out a game-high 9 assists and 3 rebounds in 38 minutes. It was his fourth career 30-point game and his first at K-State. He went 9-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-9 from long range, and a perfect 12-of-12 from the line.
Senior Keyontae Johnson tied his career and season-high with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting and a perfect 7-of-7 performance from the free throw line, while nearing collecting a double-double with a game-high 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal in 38 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
116 – K-State broke the school record for points, while tying the Big 12 mark, with 116 points, including 58 in each half, which were the most-ever scored in a half in its league history.
IN THEIR WORDS
Head coach Jerome Tang
“Man, first of all, it’s an honor and a privilege to be the head coach of Kansas State. And I’m so thankful to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity. I’m so proud of our young men for their resilience, they’re fighting the fortitude, a lot of credit to Coach (Rodney) Terry and the staff. And those young men in the Burnt Orange uniforms. You know, when adversity is thrown it at young men, your kind of, see what they’re made of, and Coach Terry and his staff are doing an unbelievable job with those guys, they are playing at a really, high level. I think people who complain about the scoring in college basketball, I think they got to see a whole bunch of scoring tonight. And so, and those of us who consider ourselves defensive coaches, it was a headache, but it was a lot of fun to be a part of, and thankful for the opportunity.”
On the team’s offensive performance…
“Yeah, I mean, you know, they play really fast, right? And they push it at you. And there’s this old saying that a pressing team doesn’t like to be pressed? Well, a team that plays downhill normally doesn’t like to have it done to them. And so, our whole plan was, let’s play with pace. They want to play with pace, we want to play with pace, and I thought at several positions, we were quicker than they were going in. And so, I thought it showed out there tonight.”
On using Texas’ aggressiveness to your advantage…
“You gotta have some pressure releases, so our guys did a good job. And I looked up and I mean in the first half, we had 58 points and we still had 10 turnovers. And if we just don’t turn it over, so they were they were causing turnovers because of their pressure. But we made some shots, and that’s what it boils down to were ever really close friend named Tim Maloney. And at the end of every coaching meeting that we had (at Baylor), when we talk about game planning, he would stand up and go, I hope we make shots. You know, and that’s what the game is comes down to is that guys got to make shots.”
On responding after Texas cut the lead in the second half…
“The guys – Keyontae (Johnson) and Quis (Nowell) – came up with some big 3s at big moments. I mean, every time they had a big run, Quan (Tomlin) had a couple of downhill drives every time the crowd got into it. Our guys were able to silence it. And you know, calm it back down. So that that was huge. As far as the confidence thing goes, you know, every day, we’re getting a little bit better. We’re still learning each other, and we’re still growing and so our whole thing is just focus on what’s the next thing and so the next thing first is what we eat in the night. That’s all concerned about.”
Senior Markquis Nowell
On the game…
“Really proud of our team tonight. Everyone contributed to a great team win over a great Texas team. We really got our offense going and it was really nice to see everyone contributing and playing well. Shout out to Cam (Carter) who really responded after a tough night against West Virginia.”
On if the game was easy as it looked…
“Basketball is not that easy especially in the best conference in the country. You have to give a lot of credit to Texas and their coaching because they have a really good team, that’s well-coached. They were well-prepared.”
On the team’s chemistry…
“Every Sunday we have a team dinner, we hang out with each other on and off the court and building our chemistry and you can see it in all of the games, so we love one another. We are a big team with big faith and God and we just try to move as a unit and everything that we do.”
Senior Keyontae Johnson
On the game…
“We wanted to be aggressive in the first five minutes and pretty much the whole game. We are a really dangerous team when we get going downhill and we share the ball so I feel like when Markquis got it going it just boosted our confidence and we were able to go from there.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State is off to a 13-1 record, equaling its best start since 2009-10.
- K-State’s winning streak is now 7 games, which is the longest since also winning 7 games from Nov. 30-Dec. 30, 2016.
- It was the first road win over a top-10 team since beating No. 2 Baylor, 56-54, in Waco on Feb. 4, 2017… K-State now has 31 wins vs. ranked teams in the last 11 seasons, including 11 Top 10 wins.
- K-State is 2-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2013-14.
- K-State now leads the all-time series, 24-21, while Texas still leads 21-19 in the Big 12 era… The Wildcats have now won 5 of the last 7 meetings in Austin, tying the series up at 11 wins each… This was the first-ever game at the Moody Center…. Tang is now 2-0 all-time vs. Texas as a head coach.
- It was the second consecutive win in Austin, as K-State handed Texas its first loss in the last season of the Erwin Center and now the first loss in the Moody Center.
- K-State used a starting lineup of fifth-year senior Markquis Nowell, sophomore Cam Carter, fifth-year senior Keyontae Johnson, junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and senior Abayomi Iyiola… It marked the third time in 14 games using this lineup.
- Nowell made his 35th start at K-State, while Carter, Johnson and Tomlin all made their 14th starts in Wildcat uniforms and Iyiola his third… It was Johnson’s 69th start in college (other 55 at Florida), 67th for Iyiola (other 39 at Stetson and 25 at Hofstra), 18th for Carter (other 4 at Mississippi State) and 13th for Tomlin (all at K-State).
- The 116 points are the most scored in a game in school history, eclipsing the 115 scored against Delaware State at home on Dec. 7, 1991, and Fresno State in the NIT at home on March 24, 1994.
- The total was also the largest ever in a road game, surpassing the 108 at Iowa State on Jan. 29, 1975… It also was the most in a conference game, topping the 114 scored against Nebraska at home on Jan. 10, 1987, and the most in a Big 12 game, surpassing the 111 vs. Missouri at home on Jan. 3, 1998.
- The Wildcats scored 58 points in each half, which tied for the most-ever scored in a half in a Big 12 game, and were the most in a conference game since scoring 61 vs. Nebraska on Jan. 10, 1987.
- K-State scored its 116 points on a season-high 61 percent shooting (36-of-59), including 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from 3-point range, and connected on 93.9 percent (31-of-33) from the free throw line.
- The 13 made 3-point field goals tied for the 10th-most in a game, while tying for the sixth-most in a conference game and the most since also hitting on 13 treys at Oklahoma State on Feb. 19, 2022.
- The 93.9 free throw percentage was a school-record with a minimum of 20 attempts.
- K-State scored 42 points in the paint… The team has now scored 40 or more points in the paint in 7 games, including 5 of the last 6 games.
- K-State had an assist on 23 of its 36 made field goals, including 6 players with 2 or more assists.
- K-State led 58-40 at halftime, which included 3 players scored in double figures led by 13 points from seniors Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell.
- K-State is now 9-0 when leading at the half.
- All 5 starters scored in double figures, including a career-high 36 by senior Markquis Nowell.
- It marked the second time this season that all 5 started scored in double figures.
- Nowell scored his 36 points on 9-of-14 field goals, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line… He added a game-high 9 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in his 38 minutes… It was his fourth career 30-point game, including his first at K-State… He has now scored in double figures in 78 career games, including 31 in his K-State career and 12 this season.
- The 36 points are the seventh-most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points vs. Oklahoma State on Jan. 10, 2018.
- His 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line tied for the fourth-best performance in school history and the best since Barry Brown, Jr., also went 12-of-12 at Baylor on Jan. 22, 2018.
- Senior Keyontae Johnson tied his career-high with 28 points on 10-of-16 field goals and a 7-of-7 effort from the free throw line to go with a game-high 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal in 38 minutes… It was his 12th career 20-point game, including his fourth at K-State… He now has 52 career double-digit scoring games, including all 14 games this season.
- Sophomore Cam Carter scored a career-high 17 points on 6-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, to go with a 2-of-3 effort from the free throw line… He also had a career-high 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 38 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 6 career games, including 4 at K-State.
- Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin scored 11 points on 4-of-7 field goals, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range, and a 2-of-3 effort from the free throw line… He has now scored in double figures in 7 consecutive games, and has 10 double-digit scoring games… He also added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 20 minutes.
- Senior Abayomi Iyiola scored 10 points on 4-of-5 field goals and 2-of-2 free throws to go with 4 rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes… It was his second straight double-digit scoring game… He now has 42 career double-digit scoring games, including 3 at K-State.
K-State concludes it weeklong road swing through the Lone Star State with a visit to No. 19 Baylor (10-3, 0-1 Big 12) on Saturday at 5 p.m., CT at the Ferrell Center. The game will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.