Sir’Jabari Rice and Christian Bishop each scored 14 points as No. 10 Texas defeated No. 7 Kansas State 69-66 in Manhattan, Kansas, to hold onto first place in the Big 12 Conference.
The Longhorns have a one-game lead on Iowa State and a two-game lead on four teams, including Kansas State. – Read more Big 12 basketball report: [Big 12 Basketball] Oklahoma State starts fast, knocks off No. 15 TCU, 79-73
Texas (19-4, 8-2 Big 12) also got 10 points apiece from Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr.
K-State (18-5, 6-4) was led by Keyontae Johnson with 16 points. He was joined in double figures by Desi Sills with 11 and Markquis Nowell with 10.
Texas outscored K-State 14-4 to start the second half to trim an 11-point halftime deficit to just 40-39. Bishop’s traditional 3-point play gave UT a 46-45 lead — the Longhorns’ first advantage since 7-6.
The Longhorns kept the lead between two and six points for the next several minutes, leading 64-62 at the final media timeout.
Nowell tied it at 64 with a short jumper at the 3:08 mark. Rice put the Longhorns back in front with one of two free throws with 2:08 left. Nowell drove the lane for a short jumper with 1:01 left, giving the Wildcats a 66-65 lead.
Bishop put the Longhorns back up with a bucket inside. K-State missed a couple of opportunities to retake the lead before Rice hit two free throws for the final points.
Ish Massoud missed a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer.
K-State found itself in trouble early when Johnson picked up his second foul just 1:07 into the game. Johnson came back into the game with 12:20 left and promptly hit a 3-pointer to get on the board.
He finished the first half with five points and picked up his third foul with 5:21 left in the first half.
The Cats led by as many as 14 multiple times, including late in the half before Rice’s three free throws trimmed it to 36-25 at halftime. Texas shot just 30.4 percent (7 of 23) from the field in the half, including just 1 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Sills led a balanced scoring attack with seven points in the half as the teams combined to have nine different players score at least five.
Things are getting interesting in the Big 12 and you can follow the conference standings here.
–Field Level Media