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.