A clutch Cartier Diarra make from long range and a block by Makol Mawien in the closing seconds lifted K-State to a 69-67 win over Tulsa on Sunday evening. The win improved K-State to 7-5 on the season.
The Cats had to battle back following a rough start to the contest. K-State had four quick turnovers and missed nine of their first 10 field goal attempts, including their first six tries from deep to open the game. Tulsa took advantage and led by as many as 13 in the early stages.
K-State responded, led by the duo of Diarra and Xavier Sneed. Diarra got hot from long range, knocking down five from deep in the opening 20 minutes. Sneed chipped in with 10 points in the first half, and the Cats took a 40-34 advantage to the halftime break. K-State hit eight from deep in the opening 20 minutes to counter Tulsa’s 24-8 first half advantage in paint points.
The Cats led by as many as nine in the second half, but Tulsa didn’t go away. The visitors battled back and took their final lead at 66-64 with 2:23 remaining on three made free throws.
Sneed tied the score at 66-66 with 1:24 remaining with a tough jumper from the head of the key. Following a defensive stop, Diarra connected on a deep three against the shot clock to give the Cats the 69-66 advantage with 22.4 seconds remaining. Tulsa got within two with a free throw make, and a missed K-State free throw on the front end gave Tulsa one final opportunity. Mawien came up with the big defensive stop, and his block closed the door on the victory.
Diarra had a huge day in the win with a game-high 25 points and six makes from long range. He added seven assists and five boards. Sneed added 18 points, six rebounds and four steals on the day.
Lawson Korita had a team-high 12 points to lead three players in double figures for Tulsa.