STILLWATER, Okla. | Kansas State's NCAA dreams were dealt a major blow Tuesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena as Oklahoma State bolstered its own, edging the Wildcats, 77-71.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 20-10 overall and 8-7 in the Big 12.
K-State trailed at the half, 41-38. But the Wildcats roared back to take a 56-55 lead with nine minutes left in regulation, their first edge since the score was 4-3.
In the final 7:06, the game was largely a foul-shooting contest. There were just four field goals, two by each team. But the Cowboys' ones were immense -- a couple of three-pointers by Obi Muonelo and James Anderson, whose shot with 1:06 left was the backbreaker, extending the lead from two points to five.
The Wildcats couldn't recover.
And now, if K-State is to realize its goal, the only realistic route is likely via winning next week's Big 12 Tournament.
Five players scored in double figures for K-State, led by Denis Clemente's 17 points. Darren Kent added 14 and Jacob Pullen had 13. Ron Anderson (12 points) and Dominique Sutton (10 points) were the others.
Byron Eaton, in his last home game, led all scorers with 25 points.