Bruce Weber’s first official game with Kansas State is still a few months away, but it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats’ new basketball coach experiencing anything more bizarre than he did on Monday in Rio de Janeiro.
Weber was ejected in the fourth quarter of a 74-72 exhibition loss to Tijuca Club, a professional Brazilian team.
He was escorted away from the sidelines with about 6 minutes remaining when game officials slapped him with a technical foul. It was the fourth technical called in the game.
The teams combined to shoot 78 free throws, 47 by the home team.
“It was tough, hard-fought loss tonight,” Weber said in the news release provided by K-State. “It was a foul-plagued game with lots of technicals and double-fouls. I have been on many international trips and you never know what type of officials you are going to get in these games and FIBA rules are pretty different. They let us play pretty physical in our first three games and tonight we had five guys foul out, but give our kids credit for coming back.”
Monday night, associate head coach Chris Lowery expressed concern on Twitter.
“Never been in a game where I was fearful that my players would get hurt,” he wrote.
Weber likely took solace in the fact that K-State responded well to his ejection. The Wildcats trailed 66-60 when Weber left the game, but scored seven straight points to have a chance late.
The game was tight throughout, with Tijuca taking a 42-41 lead at halftime. K-State led 72-20 in the final minute, but Tijuca hit a three-pointer to take a lead it would not relinquish with 45 seconds remaining. K-State had two chances to win the game at the buzzer, but Rodney McGruder and Will Spradling couldn’t connect.
McGruder led K-State with 16 points, Spradling added 12, while Adrian Diaz had 11 points and Angel Rodriguez contributed 10. Freshman forward D.J. Johnson led K-State with nine rebounds.
The loss evened K-State’s exhibition record at 2-2. Its final game will come at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Botafogo Club.