Kansas St. 58, Texas A&M 54
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)—Cartier Martin scored 17 points and forced a critical held ball with 4.2 seconds left, and Kansas State held off Texas A&M’s second-half comeback to win 58-54 on Wednesday night.
Lance Harris hit three clutch free throws and added 11 points for Kansas State (11-4, 2-2 Big 12 Conference), which improved to 7-0 in Manhattan against the Aggies.
Texas A&M (11-4, 1-3) lost for the fourth time in five games and dropped to 0-3 on the road despite 28 points from Acie Law. The Aggies have lost three straight games by a total of seven points.
Law scored 22 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer that tied it at 53-53 with 1:03 to go. But he missed one of two free throws with 29 seconds left and Kansas State up 55-53—and then missed two 3-point tries in the closing seconds after Harris hit one free throw with 19.4 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 56-54 lead.
Joseph Jones went up for a follow shot after Law’s last miss, but Martin tied him up and the ball went to Kansas State on the alternate possession. Harris, fouled on the inbounds play, hit both free throws with 3 seconds left to seal the Wildcats’ victory.
Texas A&M, which opened the second half on a 2-for-13 slump and trailed 43-29 with 10 minutes to go, got 13 points from Law over a span of a little more than 5 minutes and closed within 51-48 on Jones’ dunk with 2:45 to go.
On Kansas State’s next possession, Law fouled Martin on a 3-point heave as the shot clock ran out. Martin hit his second and third free throws for a 53-48 lead with 2:07 left, but Josh Carter’s basket and Law’s 3-pointer tied it up.
Martin hit two free throws with 43.8 seconds left to give Kansas State the lead for good, 55-53.
The Wildcats led by seven points at halftime but couldn’t take advantage of Texas A&M’s early second-half struggles to put the game away. Kansas State didn’t make a second-half field goal until Martin hit a 3-pointer with 14:30 left for a 36-27 lead.
David Hoskins, who came in averaging 13 points for the Wildcats, was held to two points on 1-for-5 shooting. He has eight points in the Wildcats’ last three games, after scoring a career-high 25 on Jan. 7 at Iowa State.
Jones had 10 points, well below his 15.8-point average, for Texas A&M. He shot just 2-for-10 from the field.
Kansas State outshot the Aggies 54 percent (14-for-36) to 30 percent (7-for-23) in the first half, holding Texas A&M without a field goal for more than 5 1/2 minutes and scoreless for another 4-minute span.
But the Aggies were 7-for-12 from the line to Kansas State’s 2-for-6 in the first 20 minutes, allowing A&M to stay within 31-24 at halftime.