Kansas State University

Wildcats can’t take advantage as Oklahoma State plays short-handed

Kansas State forward Dean Wade (center) was blocked out by Oklahoma State forward Leyton Hammonds (left) and guard Jeff Newberry during Saturday’s game.
Kansas State forward Dean Wade (center) was blocked out by Oklahoma State forward Leyton Hammonds (left) and guard Jeff Newberry during Saturday’s game. The Associated Press

Kansas State has lost consecutive games against teams that were down their best player.

Baylor won at Bramlage Coliseum without Rico Gathers. Oklahoma State beat K-State without Phil Forte and Jawun Evans.

Are the Wildcats underestimating short-handed teams?

“We have learned from experience that whenever a team’s best player goes out, other people step up,” senior guard Justin Edwards said. “We just have to treat it like it’s a normal game. Who cares about their best players? We still have to go out and do what we are supposed to do.”

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Bruce Weber made a point to say K-State is also missing one of its best players, freshman point guard Kamau Stokes. When K-State defeated Oklahoma State 89-73 last month in Manhattan, Stokes directed the offense. On Saturday, it was a mixture of Carlbe Ervin, Barry Brown and Wesley Iwundu.

“Carlbe has got to play better,” Weber said. “He has got to take care of the ball. He can be a solid point guard for us.”

Wildcats lose 58-55 in Stillwater. (Kellis Robinett/The Wichita Eagle)

Low-scoring game

This game was far from an offensive masterpiece.

Oklahoma State made 19 of 56 shots and turned the ball over 18 times. K-State made 18 of 49 shots and turned the ball over 19 times. The score was tied at 52 at the end of regulation.

Weber credited Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford for the slow pace.

“He was giving his team the best chance to win,” Weber said. “He has done a good job all season.”

Kellis Robinett: @KellisRobinett

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