• Key play: Angel Rodriguez hit a three-pointer that stopped a 7-1 game-opening run by Texas.
• Key stat: Texas committed seven turnovers.
• Key play: D.J. Johnson threw down a put-back dunk that sparked a 11-0 run that essentially sealed the victory for K-State.
• Key stat: Texas’ Myck Kabongo was held scoreless until the final minute.
When D.J. Johnson entered the game in the second half, he knew he was in for extending playing time.
Johnson, a freshman forward, has playing sparingly all season, but he became the team’s top inside option with Jordan Henriquez fighting an injury and Thomas Gipson in foul trouble.
“Just being March, Coach says we should be playing our best ball,” Johnson said. “I think that has everyone excited. We want to play our best ball … I just went out there and helped the team the best way I could.”
Johnson wasn’t expecting to play more than a few minutes. But he might heading into Friday’s semifinal after scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds against Texas.
“The guys just told me tonight to keep doing what I’m doing,” Johnson said. “I just want to keep playing hard like I did tonight and keep rebounding.”
• Henriquez said he felt good following Thursday’s game, but he was clearly fighting back problems. He continually left the court to ride a stationary bike, saying he was trying to stay loose. He was also limited to 10 minutes against Oklahoma State because of injury, but hopes to play more on Friday.
“I feel good,” he said. “I just want to keep playing hard.”
• K-State players say they are motivated this week by the thought of winning a second championship trophy.
“We just came off winning a championship,” Henriquez said. “Coach told us we’ve got two more to go. We want to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, but we have to take care of business this week first.”
• Bill Snyder and his wife were shown on the “KissCam” in the arena during the second half. After some urging from the crowd, Snyder kissed his wife on the cheek to wild applause.
| Kellis Robinett, firstname.lastname@example.org