Texas basketball blows double-digit lead in loss to K-State

Texas basketball leaves Kansas City and the Big 12 Tournament after just one game following an upset loss to Kansas State on March 13.

Dylan Disu, Texas basketball
Dylan Disu, Texas basketball / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

Texas basketball's quest to defend their Big 12 Tournament crown ended early with a loss to the 10-seed Kansas State Wildcats at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, MO, on March 13. Head coach Rodney Terry's squad coughed up a double-digit lead at halftime as the offense dried up in the second half.

The Jekyll and Hyde nature of this Texas team was on display in this second-round matchup in the Big 12 Tournament against Kansas State. Texas held a 39-29 lead heading into the locker room at halftime after a nice start to the game.

Max Abmas's 26 points can't get Texas basketball over the hump vs. Kansas State

But the Longhorns had multiple long scoring droughts throughout the second half, letting Kansas State claw their way back to take the lead for the first time since early in the first half.

Texas shot under 30 percent from the field and under 30 percent from beyond the arc in the second half. Adding to the Longhorns' troubles in the second half was the fact that senior big man Dylan Disu got in foul trouble. Disu picked up his fourth personal foul about halfway through the second half, which forced Terry to pull him out of the game for a long stretch during the final 20.

Without Disu on the floor, Kansas State stormed back with a big run on the offensive end. Texas didn't have any answers throughout most of the second half with their own offense.

When Disu got back out on the floor with about five minutes remaining in the game, Texas did draw back closer. The Longhorns made it a close game with under a minute to go. But a flagrant foul call on sophomore guard Chendall Weaver essentially salted the game away after two made free throws from Kansas State guard Tylor Perry.

Kansas State won the second half by a margin of 14 points, to complete the double-digit comeback and beat Texas by a score of 78-74.

Perry was one of three Kansas State players that scored in double figures in the second half, powering the Wildcats big comeback to win the game. Texas only had one player score in double figures in the second half as senior guard Max Abmas finished with 16.

Many of the points Abmas scored in the second half were some clutch baskets late to keep the Longhorns hanging around.

Abmas was the only heartbeat Texas had on offense for much of this game. He finished up with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field, 3-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.

His scoring was essential to keep Texas close as Disu and junior guard Tyrese Hunter combined for just a dozen points on 2-of-15 shooting from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell also had a good stretch offensively early in the first half, giving the Longhorns 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field. But Mitchell struggled to match that production from the charity stripe, going just 1-of-5 from the line in this game.

The four-point loss to Kansas State won't knock the Longhorns out of the NCAA Tournament. Nonetheless, this loss stings as Texas had a chance to boost its resume entering Selection Sunday if it made another good run in the Big 12 Tournament.

Texas moves enters the postseason with a 20-12 (9-9 Big 12) record. Kansas State moves on to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament to face the two-seed Iowa State Cyclones on March 14 in a rematch of the game where the Wildcats upset ISU in the finale in Manhattan last weekend.

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