Big 12 brawl pits Wildcats against Longhorns
Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Longhorns take aim at their fourth straight win on Tuesday night, as they entertain the Kansas State Wildcats in a Big 12 Conference clash at the Erwin Center.
The Wildcats are also trying to extended a winning streak, as they have won back-to-back tilts and 12 of their last 13 overall. The long stretch of success has pushed the team to 14-4 overall and 4-1 in league action. Up next for K-State is a trip to eighth-ranked Iowa State.
Texas just finished off the Cyclones in its last bout, pulling out an 86-76 victory in the first half of a two-game homestand. The Longhorns have won three straight and are also 14-4 overall, although they have a 3-2 mark against the Big 12. They will visit No. 24 Baylor next.
Kansas State swept the season series with Texas in 2012-13, while also posting a 66-49 victory over the Longhorns in the Big 12 Tournament. The Wildcats have won six of the last seven overall and lead the all-time series, 16-10.
A season-best 54.9 percent shooting performance lifted the Wildcats to a 78-56 win over West Virginia when they last hit the floor. Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell each netted 20 points in the game, during which K-State assisted on 22 of its 28 field goals.
The Wildcats also limited West Virginia to just 32.7 percent shooting, continuing the trend of strong defensive efforts for the team, which is limiting teams to 59.9 ppg and 39.5 percent shooting on the season. Kansas State doesn't put up particularly impressive numbers at the other end however, netting just 68.1 ppg and shooting 42.7 percent from the floor. Marcus Foster (14 ppg) is the club's top scoring threat, and one of only four players scoring at least seven ppg. Gipson (11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Southwell (11.5 ppg) are the next best options.
Cameron Ridley swatted five shots and posted a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) to help lift Texas over Iowa State. The Longhorns had nine blocks as a team and held the Cyclones to just 39.3 percent shooting, while outscoring their foes 15-8 off turnovers.
Protecting the rim has been a real strength for Texas, which features an imposing frontcourt composed of Ridley (10.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg), Jonathan Holmes (13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and, off the bench, Prince Ibeh (4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg). The backcourt is not producing at such an impressive rate, although Isaiah Taylor (11.2 ppg) and Javan Felix (11.9 ppg) are certainly capable scorers. Felix has only connected on 35.4 percent of his shots from the field and is coming off a 5-of-17 shooting performance against Iowa State, which led to 17 points. Taylor had 12 points in the win, but got nine of those from the free-throw line.
01/21 11:21:27 ET