The No.10 Texas Longhorns rallied for a comeback 69-66 road win over No. 7 Kansas State on Saturday.
Kansas State led by as many as 14 points (36-22) with 28.7 seconds remaining until halftime, as Texas struggled to score for much of the first half.
The Longhorns shot 30.4% from the floor, made only one of 11 three-point attempts, and endured a stretch of more than 7 minutes with just one field goal in the first half.
The Texas offense awoke in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 44-30 by shooting 16 of 28 (57.1%) from the field in the win to move into sole possession of first place in the Big 12.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Christian Bishop powered the Longhorns’ second-half rally by pouring in 14 points, including the go-ahead layup with 37 seconds to go.
Sir’Jabari Rice had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Texas, with his two free throws with nine seconds remaining setting the final score. Kansas State’s Ismael Massoud’s potential game-tying three-pointer from the left wing fell short of the basket at the final buzzer.
WHAT TO KNOW
— The Longhorns’ win was their fifth against a Top 25 team this season and fifth in eight Big 12 games where they trailed at halftime.
— The win is also the third for Texas where they needed to come back from a double-digit deficit. Texas trailed TCU by 18 in a 79-75 home win on January 11 and Texas Tech by as many as 12 before pulling out a 72-70 home win on January 14.
— Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr scored 10 points each for Texas (19-4, 8-2 Big 12), which secured the split of the season series with Kansas State (18-5, 6-4). Texas suffered a 116-103 overtime home loss to the Wildcats on January 3, one of the most entertaining games of the season.
— Keyontae Johnson had 16 points, and Desi Sills scored 11 to lead the Wildcats, who lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
— Markquis Nowell had 10 points but also had six turnovers, including one with less than a minute remaining and Kansas State down by one. Nowell scored 36 in the win against the Longhorns on January 3.
BY THE NUMBERS
— In the Wildcats’ high-scoring January 3 win, they shot 60% from the field. The Texas defense stepped up its game on Saturday night, holding K-State to 44% shooting, including 31.5% (6 of 19) on three-pointers. The Wildcats went 13 of 24 from behind the three-point line in the earlier win against Texas.
— Texas interim coach Rodney Terry spoke on the win for the Longhorns, who are seeking their first Big 12 title since 2008: “Our league, we don’t have any bad teams,” said Terry. “To come in on a home court against a top-10 team and have this kind of performance, I’ll stack it up with one of the best wins I’ve been part of in 30 years of coaching.”
— Bishop spoke on his role in the comeback down the stretch: “My teammates trust me and were getting me the ball where I needed it to score,” said Bishop. “All I had to do was stand under the basket.”
— Texas will stay in the Sunflower State to face No.8 Kansas on Monday night. Kansas State will host No.15 TCU on Tuesday night.