Oklahoma State was a scorching 81.3 percent (13-of-16) from the field in the second half, as the Cowboys snapped a 4-game losing streak against Kansas State with a 64-59 victory on Tuesday night before 7,967 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
The team’s 81.3 field goal percentage (13-of-16) in the second half was the second highest by an opponent in a half and the highest since Colorado connected on 82.4 percent at home on Jan. 24, 2009. Overall, the Cowboys (12-12, 2-9 Big 12) connected on 51.2 percent (22-of-43) from the field, including 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from inside the 3-point arc, to claim its first win in the series since an 80-64 win at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 22, 2017.
The loss was another frustratingly close one for K-State (9-15, 2-9 Big 12), which drew within 49-47 on a layup by junior Cartier Diarra with just over 6 minutes to play. However, OSU responded with a 10-3 run, which included 5 consecutive points from sophomore Yor Anei and was capped by a 3-pointer by senior Lindy Waters III, that pushed the lead back out to 9 points (59-50) with 2:15 remaining.
K-State still had an opportunity after a 3-pointer from junior Mike McGuirl and free throws by senior Makol Mawien closed the deficit to 59-55 with 1:24 to play, but OSU knocked down 5-of-8 free throws down the stretch, including a pair by seniorCameron McGriff with 14 seconds, to seal the victory, 64-59.
The Wildcats have now lost 10 games (of 15 total losses) by single digits or by 51 total points.
Anei was the star of the night for the Cowboys, as he was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including 1-of-1 from 3-point range, for a team-high 15 points, while Waters (12), graduate transfer Jonathan Laurent (11) and McGriff (10) also scored in double figures. McGriff added a near double-double with a game-high 8 rebounds.
McGuirl led the Wildcats with a game-high 16 points off the bench on 5-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and a 3-of-3 effort from the free throw line. It marked the second time in his career that McGuirl has led the team in scoring, while he registered double-digit points for the fifth time this season.
Fellow junior Cartier Diarra scored 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with a career-tying 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 36 minutes. Senior Makol Mawien also scored in double figures for the Wildcats with 11 points on 3-of-6 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws in 24 minutes.