MANHATTAN, Kan. – Sophomore Courtney Ramey scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, as Texas rode a red-hot first-half shooting performance to a 70-59 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon at 9,700 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
Buoyed by Ramey’s career-best day, Texas (16-11, 6-8 Big 12) connected on an opponent-high 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field, including 62.5 percent (15-of-24) in the first half, to build a 42-23 lead at halftime. The 19-point lead was the largest by an opponent at Bramlage Coliseum in more than 15 years since Kansas held a 21-point advantage at the break on Feb. 4, 2002.
After trailing by 10 points early, K-State (9-18, 2-12 Big 12) was able to close to within 26-20 on a pair of free throws by senior Xavier Sneed with 6:46 to go before halftime. A layup by Ramey on the next possession ignited what would become a 13-0 run, as the Longhorns extended their lead to 39-20 with 1:49 to go. The Wildcats were able to close to within 39-23 on a free throw by junior Cartier Diarra with 60 seconds to play, but Ramey ended the half with an exclamation point with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 42-23 lead.
Ramey’s 21 first-half points came on 8-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He finished with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-9 from long range, to go with a game-high 5 steals and 6 rebounds.
The Wildcats opened the second half with back-to-back buckets by senior Makol Mawien, including a monstrous dunk just 21 seconds into the half, but they could never sustain any momentum, as the Longhorns seemed to answer every run with a key jumper or 3-pointer to keep a sizeable cushion. Mawien pulled K-State to within 66-55 after a 3-point play with 1:44 to play, but the Wildcats could get no closer, as junior Matt Coleman III answered with 4 consecutive free throws to push the lead back to 15 points.
Coleman III (12) and sophomore Andrew Jones (12) joined Ramey in double figures for the Longhorns.
The loss spoiled a solid day by Mawien, who collected his fifth double-double, including his third this season, with 14 points on 6-of-13 field goals to go with a game-high 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Sneed also scored in double figures with a team-high 15 points, most of which came from the free throw line on 8-of-11 attempts, to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes. Diarra led the Wildcats with 6 assists and 4 steals, but managed just 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting, including 1-of-4 from long range.
For the game, K-State struggled on offense, connecting on 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the field, including 32 percent (8-of-25) in the pivotal first half, and managed to hit just 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range and 16 of 29 (55.2 percent) from the free throw line.
The loss was K-State’s seventh straight, which is the longest such streak in the Bruce Weber era and the longest by a Wildcat team since also dropping 7 in a row from Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2001.
With the win, the Longhorns swept the season series from the Wildcats for the first time since 2016.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It seems like a broken record, but K-State again got off to a poor start, as Texas jumped out to a 7-2 advantage after a layup by junior Royce Hamm, Jr., less than 2 minutes into the game.
The Wildcats fought back to close to within one possession twice, including 10-8 after a layup by junior David Sloan at the 15:10 mark. However, the Longhorns pushed it back out to 16-9 with a 6-1 spurt that included 2 jumpers by sophomore Courtney Ramey and a pair of free throws by freshman Donovan Williams.
Texas steadily grew the lead to 25-16 after a 3-pointer by sophomore Andrew Jones to force head coach Bruce Weber to call a timeout with 9:37 before halftime.
K-State closed back to within 26-20 after a pair of free throws by senior Xavier Sneed at the 6:46 mark before Texas again responded with a run, scoring 7 in a row capped by a 3-pointer from Ramey, to again force Weber to call a timeout with the Wildcats trailing 33-20 with 5:16 to play.
The run grew to 13-0 after a jumper by Ramey that made it 39-20 with 1:49 before halftime a free throw by junior Levi Stockard III gave K-State its first points since the 6:46 mark. Two free throws by junior Cartier Diarra closed the gap to 39-23 but Ramey capped his incredible first half with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 42-23 lead.
The 19-point halftime deficit was the largest at Bramlage Coliseum since trailing by 21 to Kansas on Feb. 4, 2002.
Ramey led an explosive Texas offense with 21 points on 8-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, as the Longhorns connected on 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the field, including 45.5 percent (5-of-11) long range, to go with a near perfect effort from the free throw line (7-of-8).
K-State hit on just 32 percent (8-of-25), including 20 percent (1-of-5) from 3-point range, and made just 6 of 11 attempts from the free throw line. Diarra led with 9 points on 3-of-4 field goals.
Senior Makol Mawien opened the half with back-to-back buckets, including an emphatic dunk, but the Longhorns responded with a 7-2 run to take a 49-29 lead into the first media timeout at the 15:40 mark.
Sloan was able to close the deficit to 49-32 with a free throw and a layup that prompted head coach Shaka Smart to take his first timeout with 14:31 remaining. Two free throws by Sneed got the Wildcats to within 49-34 on the next possession, but the Longhorns responded with 7 of the next 8 points for a 56-35 lead with 10:52 to play.
A person 4-0 run by Sneed cut the deficit to 56-39 with just under 9 remaining, but another Jones 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 20 on the subsequent possession.
The Wildcats were able to cut into the deficit with a 10-3 run that closed the gap to 66-55 after a 3-point play by Mawien with 1:44 to play, however, the Longhorns made 4 consecutive free throws to give themselves the necessary cushion en route to the 70-59 win.
Texas connected on 40 percent (8-of-20) in the second half, including 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from 3-point range, and a 9 of 13 effort (69.2 percent) from the free throw line, while K-State hit on 36.4 percent (12-of-33) from the field, including 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from long range, and a 10 of 18 effort (55.6 percent) from the line.
Mawien scored 12 of his 14 points after halftime on 5-of-8 shooting to go with 7 rebounds, while Sneed had 11 points, most from a 6 of 9 effort from the free throw line.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Xavier Sneed led the Wildcats with 15 points on 3-of-12 field goals, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and an 8-of-11 effort from the free throw line. It marked the 27th time that he has led the team in scoring, including 12th this season. He has a team-leading 21 double-digit scoring games.
Senior Makol Mawien registered his fifth career double-double, including his third this season, with 14 points on 6-of-13 field goals to go with a game-high 10 rebounds.
STAT OF THE GAME
19 – Texas connected on 62.5 percent (23-of-44) in the first half to take a 42-23 lead into halftime. The 19-point halftime lead was the largest by an opponent at Bramlage Coliseum since Kansas led by 21 on Feb. 4, 2002.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“I thought we gave them some easy ones early. They just beat us on drives to the hole, and they hit those early threes. They hit three early threes just like they did at their place. Those weren’t easy ones, but you have to have a little sense of urgency to be more aggressive. It’s getting down to 3-2-1 you’ve got to get out on them and get your hands up. We haven’t made them, but they have. Other teams have made them against us. After that, you get down 20, now you’re scrambling. Our guys kept competing and kept scrambling, but you’re down 20. It’s hard to get it to 12-13. We had one where David (Sloan) turned it over again, it was maybe at 12 or 14. A couple of those plays, Mike (McGuirl) turned it over. You almost have to be perfect to give yourself a chance.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State’s 7-game losing streak is the longest of the Bruce Weber era and the longest for the Wildcats since dropping 7 in a row from Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2001.
- K-State still leads the all-time series, 22-18, with Texas, including 11-7 in Manhattan… With the win, Texas sweeps the season series for the first time since 2016 and now leads the series, 18-17, in the Big 12 era.
- The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of junior David Sloan, junior Cartier Diarra, senior Xavier Sneed, freshman Antonio Gordon and senior Makol Mawien… This was the first time using this lineup and the eighth different lineup used this season, the most since 2014-15.
- Sneed has now played in 132 career games, including 99 starts (60 consecutive)… He is now tied with Wesley Iwundu (132/2013-17) for sixth place on the all-time games played list… He is also 3 starts shy of cracking the career starts list… He is still in eighth place on all-time minutes played list with 3,690.
- Mawien has played and started in every game in his career, which now stretches to 98… He is also 4 starts shy of cracking the career starts list.
- Diarra has now appeared in 90 career games with 53 starts, including 22 of 27 games this season… Antonio Gordon earned his eight start and has now played in 22 career games… It was his first start since the Saint Louis (12/21/19) game and the first in Big 12 play.
- At least 1 of the 3 true freshmen (A. Gordon, DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy) have started each of the last 8 games.
- Junior Levi Stockard III and freshman DaJuan Gordon was the first player off the bench.
- Freshman Montavious Murphy missed the game due to injury (knee) and has now missed 8 games.
- Texas connected on an opponent-high 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field, including 62.5 percent (15-of-24) in the first half… It marked sixth opponent to shoot 50 percent or better from the field (all losses).
- K-State was held below 60 points for sixth time this season, as the Wildcats scored 59 points on 34.5 percent shooting (20-of-58), including 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from 3-point range, and hit on 16 of 29 attempts (55.2 percent) from the free throw line.
- The teams combined for 35 turnovers, including 18 by Texas… K-State scored just 11 points off those 18 miscues, while the Longhorns scored 19 points off 17 Wildcat turnovers.
- K-State held advantages in points in the paint (34-26), second-chance points (12-2) and fast-break points (10-8)… The 34 points in the paint were the most since scoring 36 vs. West Virginia (1/18/20).
- Texas led for 39:16 minutes as K-State never led in the contest… During the current 7-game losing streak, the Wildcats have led for less than 17 minutes (out of 280 total minutes).
- The 19-point halftime (42-23) deficit was the largest at Bramlage Coliseum since trailing by 21 to Kansas on Feb. 4, 2002.
- Senior Xavier Sneed scored a team-high 15 points on 3-of-12 field goals, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and an 8-of-11 effort from the free throw line with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes… It marked the 27th time in his career leading the team in scoring, including the 12th time this season… He has now scored in double figures in 74 career games, including a team-high 21 this season.
- With his 1 made 3-point field goal today, Sneed moved into a tie with former teammate Kamau Stokes (2015-19) for fourth place on the career 3-point field goals made list.
- With his 12 field goals attempted today, Sneed moved into the Top 10 for career field goals attempted with 1,133, eclipsing Cartier Martin (1,132/2003-07) for 10th place.
- Senior Makol Mawien collected his fifth career double-double, including his fourth this season, with 14 points on 6-of-13 field goals and a game-high 10 rebounds in 30 minutes… It was his sixth career 10-rebound game, including his fourth this season.
- Junior Cartier Diarra posted team-highs in both assists (6) and steals (4) to go with 9 points on 3-of-9 field goals, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and a 2-of-3 effort from the free throw line… It marked the 26th time he has led the team in assists, including the 19th time this season… He has now led in steals in 13 games, including 10 times this season… It was his fifth time with 4 or more steals this season.
K-State returns to action on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats travel to Waco, Texas to take on top-ranked Baylor (24-2, 13-1 Big 12) at the Ferrell Center at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. The Bears won the first meeting, 73-67, on Feb. 3 at Bramlage Coliseum and will be looking to sweep the regular-season series for the first time since 2016.