No. 6 Texas unable to find answer to Kansas State’s scoring barrage in 116-103 loss

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

No. 6 Texas fell to Kansas State 116-103 Tuesday night at the Moody Center, marking the Longhorns’ first loss of conference play and first defeat since Dec. 6 against Illinois.

In Rodney Terry’s sixth game leading Texas and second in conference play, the acting head coach suffered his first loss since taking over on Dec. 12, and the Longhorns allowed the most points in a Big 12 game in program history.

Texas couldn’t find an answer for Kansas State’s offense led by senior forward Keyontae Johnson, especially near the basket. 

In addition to the Wildcats’ interior offense, Kansas State shot well beyond the arc, hitting 54% of their efforts from three.

Texas trailed by as much as 18 at halftime, but inched within eight points of the Wildcats with six minutes remaining.

The Longhorns’ surge was led by Texas’ three-headed backcourt consisting of graduate Marcus Carr, graduate Sir’Jabari Rice and sophomore Tyrese Hunter.

After earning Big 12 Player of the Week honors Monday — the second nod of his career — Carr continued his scoring saga against the Wildcats. The guard finished second among the Longhorns with 27 points and shot 52% from the floor.

However, Carr wasn’t the only Texas guard who helped bring Texas back from a deep double-digit deficit. 

Hunter’s career-high 29 points and Rice’s 16 points kept the Longhorns in the game, but the performances weren’t enough to lift Texas through the shootout.

Kansas State finished with five scorers in double digits highlighted by Markquis Nowell’s 36 points and Johnson’s 28 that kept Texas at bay for the remainder of the game.

While the Texas defense showed flashes to create turnovers in the first half, the Longhorns couldn’t keep the Wildcats from scoring consistently despite the offensive push late in the game.

Kansas State succeeded in nearly every facet of its offense, shooting 60% from the field and 94% from the free throw line.

Texas now sits at 12–2 overall and 1–1 in conference play and looks to get back on track Saturday at Oklahoma State.