Texas Rides Ramey’s Big Day to 70-59 win over K-State

Texas guard Courtney Ramey, left, knocks the ball away from Kansas State guard DaJuan Gordon, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (Release) - Sophomore Courtney Ramey scored 21 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, as Texas rode a red-hot first-half shooting performance to a 70-59 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon at 9,700 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

Buoyed by Ramey’s career-best day, Texas (16-11, 6-8 Big 12) connected on an opponent-high 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field, including 62.5 percent (15-of-24) in the first half, to build a 42-23 lead at halftime. The 19-point lead was the largest by an opponent at Bramlage Coliseum in more than 15 years since Kansas held a 21-point advantage at the break on Feb. 4, 2002.

After trailing by 10 points early, K-State (9-18, 2-12 Big 12) was able to close to within 26-20 on a pair of free throws by senior Xavier Sneed with 6:46 to go before halftime. A layup by Ramey on the next possession ignited what would become a 13-0 run, as the Longhorns extended their lead to 39-20 with 1:49 to go. The Wildcats were able to close to within 39-23 on a free throw by junior Cartier Diarra with 60 seconds to play, but Ramey ended the half with an exclamation point with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 42-23 lead.

Ramey’s 21 first-half points came on 8-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He finished with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-9 from long range, to go with a game-high 5 steals and 6 rebounds.

The Wildcats opened the second half with back-to-back buckets by senior Makol Mawien, including a monstrous dunk just 21 seconds into the half, but they could never sustain any momentum, as the Longhorns seemed to answer every run with a key jumper or 3-pointer to keep a sizeable cushion. Mawien pulled K-State to within 66-55 after a 3-point play with 1:44 to play, but the Wildcats could get no closer, as junior Matt Coleman III answered with 4 consecutive free throws to push the lead back to 15 points.

Coleman III (12) and sophomore Andrew Jones (12) joined Ramey in double figures for the Longhorns.

The loss spoiled a solid day by Mawien, who collected his fifth double-double, including his third this season, with 14 points on 6-of-13 field goals to go with a game-high 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Sneed also scored in double figures with a team-high 15 points, most of which came from the free throw line on 8-of-11 attempts, to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 38 minutes. Diarra led the Wildcats with 6 assists and 4 steals, but managed just 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting, including 1-of-4 from long range.

For the game, K-State struggled on offense, connecting on 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the field, including 32 percent (8-of-25) in the pivotal first half, and managed to hit just 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range and 16 of 29 (55.2 percent) from the free throw line.

The loss was K-State’s seventh straight, which is the longest such streak in the Bruce Weber era and the longest by a Wildcat team since also dropping 7 in a row from Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2001.

With the win, the Longhorns swept the season series from the Wildcats for the first time since 2016.