May 30, 2024

Tulsa takes down K-State

WICHITA, Kan. – K-State found the defense it needed in the final minutes but couldn’t find the shots in a 61-54 loss to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Intrust Bank Arena Saturday night. Four Wildcats reached double figures, including a team-best 15 points from Xavier Sneed, but cold shooting – K-State missed its last eight attempts and didn’t have a field goal in the final five minutes – iced any rally and a 23-game home winning streak against non-conference foes.

Dean Wade (13), Kamau Stokes (11) and Barry Brown (10) joined Sneed in double digits, but no Wildcat could find the bottom of the net away from the free throw line as Tulsa kept K-State at arms-length in the waning minutes.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Sneed powered K-State to a 30-27 halftime lead and paced all players on the floor with 13 points before the break. He hit back-to-back threes in the opening three minutes but the Cats would suffer through the first of two nearly five-minute stretches without a field goal. Sneed added a trio of free throws during the first drought but Tulsa led by as many as six points (14-8) before Wade broke the seal on a jumper and drew K-State within one with 12:19 remaining.

 

Wade then pulled the Cats even at 16-16 with a three pointer near the 10-minute mark, one of just four made threes by K-State as they launched a near-season-most 31 attempts from deep. Tulsa answered and pushed the lead back to five just two minutes later, but K-State found the spark it needed with a one-handed, put-back jam by Sneed followed immediately by a steal-turned-breakaway slam by Amaad Wainright for a 26-25 advantage.

 

As impressive as Sneed was in the opening frame, Tulsa’s Junior Etou matched the effort in the second. The senior forward from Congo stepped out to hit five threes in the contest, including three while pouring in 13 of his game-high 22 points after the break.

 

Still, the Cats and Hurricane were tied 49-49 with 6:15 to play before the first of two dagger threes from TU’s Elijah Joiner. With a crowd of more than 7,000 willing them on, K-State got a defensive stop and strong rebound from Sneed – one of a game-high-tying eight boards nabbed – then a bucket from Wade on the other end to trim the advantage to one. That was K-State’s last field goal of the game, though several defensive stops and made free throws pulled the Cats even and kept them within a single possession until the final 30 seconds.

 

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Xavier Sneed – Sneed did a little of everything in the first half, including erasing what looked like an easy Tulsa lay-up, an assist, two steals, three rebounds and he led all scorers with 13 at the break. He added just two more points after half but still ended as K-State’s leader in points (15), rebounds (8), made free throws (5), assists (4), steals (3) and blocks (1). It was Sneed’s sixth game in double figures this season.

 

STAT OF THE GAME

17 – Lead changes in a back and forth contest at Intrust Bank arena. The Cats largest lead was the halftime margin (30-27) and Tulsa’s largest lead was the game’s final score (61-54), ballooning with four made free throws in the final 30 seconds. The score was tied nine times in the game, the last at 53-53 with 3:41 to play.

 

SEASON RECORD UPDATE

  • K-State 8-2 (0-0 Big 12)
  • Tulsa 5-4 (0-0 American)

 

IN THEIR WORDS

K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber

On the game…

“You have to give them credit. We talked about them being athletic and tough and they lose Jeffries (Daquan) who is probably their second best player, if not their best player at times. And other guys stepped up, they were very active in the zone, they were very active on the boards. They kept us off balance. I thought the first half we moved the ball and got good shots, we just missed them. The second half we panicked a little bit and just were not crisp in our offense and we forced some things, and down the stretch we definitely panicked. We have some older guys that have been through it and it’s a zone so it is a little different. In a man you can “run this” but in a zone you have to make some reads and get some inside touches. We just did not get enough inside touches, which was probably the biggest key.”

 

On Junior Etou…

“Well he can pick and pop, he can make big three’s slipping on ball screen, and our sense of urgency with him was not very good. He can go inside, I thought we doubled him and created some problems for him at times, but he was a good player tonight and we did not have a little bit of trouble, we had trouble containing the dribble also but I think some of that was worrying about Etou (Junior) and now all of a sudden their guards got in the paint. They made the big shots, the big three’s down the stretch; we just did not have answers for it. “

 

Junior Guard Kamau Stokes

On getting the ball inside the zone…

“They did a good job, especially keeping a couple people on Dean (Wade), but like coach said we had a lot of good looks, especially in the middle of the zone and we didn’t make the shots.”

 

On the shooting tonight…

“Just a bad shooting night, everyone goes through it, tonight was our night. We can’t dwell on it, we have to focus on the next game, and get back in the gym.”

 

Sophomore Forward Xavier Sneed

On his put-back dunk and the momentum…

“We went up one from there, and at that point we have to keep our foot on the throttle, and keep the energy up and keep going and put the team away. But tonight, I feel like we just didn’t do that.”

 

On filling up the stat sheet…

“I just do everything possible to win a basketball game for my team, that’s all I did today and I tried my best.”

 

Tulsa Head Coach Frank Haith

On the game…

“I thought our guys played with great toughness. We made some big shots down the stretch but our defense was outstanding all night. We had great performances in a lot of guys. It was a great team win. Obviously Junior (Etou) made some big buckets but I thought everybody that played contributed  and gave us a chance down the stretch and we made big plays down the stretch.”

 

On Tulsa’s zone defense…

“ Well we changed. Actually one of the zones we just put in two days ago when Daquan (Jeffries) went down. I felt like we kept them off balance with changing zones in terms of how we guard certain things… I thought we did a great job of keeping them out of the paint and making them shoot contested jump shots. That was the key.

 

On Freshman Elijah Joiner’s go ahead 3 point…

“Initially I was not okay with taking it that far behind the line. I did say to him before I checked him in that if he had an open look to take it. So as a freshman I think that means if I am in the arena to take the open shot. He has great toughness and his best basketball is ahead of him. He is going to be a terrific player.”

 

Sophomore Forward Martin Igbanu…

On the game…

“The past couple of games I feel like we have been playing well defensively and we were just missing one thing every other game. I feel like this was the first game where we had everything together as a team and that feels good.”

 

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE

  • The loss snaps K-State’s 23-game winning streak in home venues which dates all the way back to K-State is now 95-6 in non-conference play at home dating back to 2006-07, including 2-2 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
  • K-State is now 2-2 all-time in the Wichita Wildcat Classic, all played at INTRUST Bank Arena… The school is 9-13 all-time in games played in Wichita, including 3-4 in games against schools other than Wichita State.
  • Tulsa now leads the all-time series, 6-1, which dates to 1965… This was the first meeting since 1990.
  • K-State scored a season-low 54 points on a season-low 32.1 percent shooting (18-of-56), including 12.9 percent (4-of-31) from 3-point range… It was the fewest points since scoring 50 vs. West Virginia in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship on March 10, 2017.
  • K-State lost for the first time this season when Barry Brown, Jr.Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade all score in double figures (5-1).
  • Sophomore Xavier Sneed scored a team-high 15 points on 4-of-13 field goals to go with a team-high 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals… He led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals… Sneed has now scored in double figures in 19 career games, including 6 this season… His 13 first-half points were the most of his career and the second most of any half (14, second-half, vs. Arizona State (11/26/17).
  • Junior Dean Wade scored 13 points on 5-of-11 field goals to go with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals… Wade has now scored in double figures in 41 career games, including 9 games this season.
  • Junior Barry Brown, Jr. scored 10 points on 4-of-13 field goals… Brown has now scored in double figures in 42 career games, including 8 games this season.
  • Junior Kamau Stokes scored 11 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists… Stokes has now scored in double figures for team-leading 44th time in his career, including 9 games this season.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

K-State returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 16 when the Wildcats play host to SE Missouri State (5-4) at 7 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets are available starting at $10, while fans can take advantage of the Wildcat 4 Pack for just $30. The contest will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (state of Kansas/Kansas City area), K-StateHD.TV (free) and ESPN3 (outside of state of Kansas).