Saturday’s box score
Iowa St. 73,
No. 11 Kansas St. 67
Percentages: FG .509, FT .444. 3-Point Goals: 7-19, .368 (Spradling 4-5, Irving 1-3, McGruder 1-3, Southwell 1-3, Lawrence 0-1, Rodriguez 0-4). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 2 (Johnson, Williams). Turnovers: 12 (McGruder 4, Williams 2, Johnson 2, Spradling 2, Henriquez). Steals: 4 (Rodriguez 2, Johnson, Southwell). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .481, FT .455. 3-Point Goals: 11-22, .500 (McGee 3-4, Lucious 2-2, Niang 2-3, Clyburn 2-5, Ejim 1-3, Babb 1-5). Team Rebounds: 1. Blocked Shots: 1 (Ejim). Turnovers: 10 (Lucious 3, Niang 3, Ejim 2, McGee, Clyburn). Steals: 3 (Clyburn 2, Niang). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–14,376. Officials–Paul Janssen, Duke Edsall, Darron George.
Handling a ranking
: Kansas State earned its highest ranking in three years when it won eight straight games and rose to No. 11 in the Associated Press poll. But the Wildcats will fall now that they have lost two in a row.
K-State coach Bruce Weber isn’t worried about that. He simply wants the players to respond well in their next game.
“We just kept winning. You can’t do anything about it,” Weber said. The expectations of fans and people around you change. Maybe we didn’t deal with it. Now we had a reality smack and we have to get back at it. We have got to get back to where we were an do the things that give us a chance.”
No one on K-State’s roster was more frustrated after losing to Kansas on Tuesday than Will Spradling.
The junior guard was held scoreless, and spent the next two days in the Wildcats’ practice facility working on his shot. The work paid off on Saturday when he made four three-pointers and scored 15 points.
“I felt like I had open shots against KU that just weren’t falling,” Spradling said. “Coach got me in the gym and was working with me on my shot, trying to get it back to where it was. Coming into the game it felt good. I was just letting it fly.”
Johnson in the mix
Freshman forward D.J. Johnson played a larger role than usual, playing 20 minutes. He scored four points, grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot. Weber liked the way he matched up with Iowa State.
“He is quicker, more athletic. He plays hard,” Weber said. “We gave him a chance and he took advantage of it.”
Both teams shot well from the outside, but struggled from the free-throw line. K-State made 7 of 19 shots from beyond the arc and 4 of 9 from the free-throw line. Iowa State made 11 off 22 from the outside and 10 of 22 from the foul line.… One of the game’s defining plays occurred in the second half, when Angel Rodriguez tried to deflect a pass off Willy Clyburn while he was falling out of bounds. But the ball never rolled out of bounds. It skirted up the sideline, and Melvin Ejim ended up getting a crowd-pleasing dunk that put Iowa State ahead 63-56. “Sometimes the ball bounces your way,” Weber said. “Sometimes it doesn’t.” … The first half ended in bizarre fashion, when Johnson fouled Chris Babb as he tried to make a layup as time expired. Babb lined up to attempt two free throws with less than a second remaining, but Weber argued Johnson’s foul was committed after the half ended. A lengthy discussion ensued, and the officials decided to let Babb shoot from the free-throw line because he was fouled in the act of shooting, while time remained on the clock. There was also a timing issue in the second half, when the clock failed to start in the final minute. It didn’t end up having an impact on the game, but it made K-State’s comeback chances even more difficult.
— Kellis Robinett