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Kansas State prevails in offensive slugfest with No. 6 Texas

Jan 3, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats guard Desi Sills (13) shoots over Texas Longhorns guard Sir'Jabari Rice (10) during the first half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Markquis Nowell poured in a career-high 36 points that included six 3-pointers and a 12-for-12 showing at the free-throw line as Kansas State dominated throughout in an easy 116-103 win over No. 6 Texas on Tuesday in a Big 12 Conference dustup in Austin, Texas.

The Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) put together a near-perfect first half, after which they led by 18 points. Texas rallied after halftime, pulling to within 82-72 on Sir’Jabari Rice’s three-point play with 9:12 to play and got its deficit to seven points on another Rice bucket and free throw two minutes later.

But Kansas State never let the Longhorns cut further into its lead, expanded its advantage to 103-88 on Nowell’s 3-pointer with 2:43 remaining before cruising to the finish line.

Keyontae Johnson added 28 points for the Wildcats, who have won seven straight games.

Cam Carter had 17 points, Nae’Qwan Tomlin scored 11 and Abayomi Iyiola hit for 10 in the victory.

Texas allowed 58 points in the first half, more than they had surrendered in five entire games this season.

Tyrese Hunter’s career-high 29 points led the Longhorns (12-2, 1-1 Big 12). Marcus Carr added 27 points, Rice tallied 16 and Timmy Allen contributed 10 in the loss, which snapped a six-game winning streak. Texas lost despite shooting 66.7 percent from the field in the second half.

The Wildcats set the pace early, scoring eight points in the paint on the way to a 12-3 lead after a layup by Johnson at the 16:45 mark of the first half. Kansas State kept its foot on the accelerator, pushing its advantage to 18 points on Carter’s 3-pointer with 4:34 to play in the half.

The teams traded baskets through the rest of the half, with two free throws by Nowell with 3.3 seconds left granting the Wildcats a 58-40 advantage at the break.

Johnson and Nowell led Kansas State with 13 points each before halftime. The Wildcats outshot Texas 61.8 percent to 37.1 percent in the half, made eight of their 14 3-pointers and owned a 23-13 edge in rebounding in the dominating performance over the first 20 minutes.

Hunter led the Longhorns with 12 points at the half.

–Field Level Media