It is unusual to face a must-win game in January, but for Texas, Saturday’s night matchup against Kansas State certainly felt like a must-win. The Longhorns and Wildcats both entered the game with a 0-2 record in Big 12 play, and a 0-3 start would have been devastating for a Texas team that had high hopes entering the season. With their backs against the wall, the Longhorns found a way to collect their first conference win of the year, defeating the Wildcats 64-50 behind a strong defensive effort and improved shooting.
Matt Coleman led the way for a Texas offense that showed signs of life throughout the contest. The junior scored a team-high 14 points and also contributed 4 assists. Courtney Ramey and Jase Febres also reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, the Longhorns shot 49% from the field and 43.5% from deep. It was a far cry from the offensive issues that plagued Texas their previous two games against Baylor and Oklahoma.
The Longhorns turned in a strong performance on the defensive end of the floor as well, holding Kansas State to 37% from the field and forcing the Wildcats to commit 18 turnovers. In the second half, the Wildcats went the first 8 minutes without a point, allowing Texas to stretch out what was a 31-27 halftime lead to 43-27. Kansas State was ultimately unable to recover, falling to 0-3 in conference play and 7-8 overall.
The Longhorns will return to action in Stillwater on Wednesday to face another team winless in conference play, Oklahoma State. The game will tip-off at 7 PM and will be broadcasted on ESPN+.
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