MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Isaiah Taylor scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer to all but ice the game with less than a minute to play, and No. 25 Texas held on to beat Kansas State 71-70 on Monday night.
Javan Felix had 11 of his 13 points in the first half and Eric Davis, Jr. finished with 10 points for Texas (18-11, 9-6 Big 12). Connor Lammert had eight points and seven rebounds.
Kansas State (15-13, 4-11) was forced to play catch-up in the second half after falling behind by as many as eight points. When the Wildcats got as close as 66-65 with 1:03 to play, Taylor stepped back and hit a 3-pointer with a defender in his face. Dean Wade later missed a possible game-winning 3-pointer, as the Longhorns escaped with a much-needed conference victory.
Justin Edwards had 20 points and eight rebounds for Kansas State, while D.J. Johnson added 16 points and Wesley Iwundu had 12.
The thrilling finish didn’t entirely tell the story.
Texas stormed out to an early lead before Felix book-ended the period with seven of his 11 first-half points in a 2-minute span to give the Longhorns a 38-35 halftime lead.
Kansas State was fortunate to only trail by three.
At one point, the Wildcats trailed 22-18, with only Edwards and Johnson having made field goals. It wasn’t until the 7:29 mark that assistance came with Carlbe Ervin hit two free throws.
The teams combined for 24 fouls, resulting in a sloppy 20 minutes that lacked any sort of rhythm. Eleven were called against the Wildcats, including one on Dean Wade with 3:35 to play, when the freshman was actually elbowed in the face. The purple-clad fans’ groans grew so loud during the ensuing free throws that the officials went over to the scoreboard to take another look.
Nothing else was called.
Texas clung to its lead throughout the second half, fending off each Kansas State run, including a jumper from Taylor with 3:34 left to stretch a one-point lead back to three. The guard then did it again with 43 seconds remaining, stepping back and hitting the 3-pointer with a defender in his face.
Wade had a chance to be the hero for Kansas State, but his would-be game winner clunked off the front of the rim to end the game.
Texas: Center Prince Ibeh played just 9 minutes, fouling out with 4 minutes to play in the game. He finished with three points and one field goal.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have lost six conference games by 10 points or less.
Texas: hosts No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Kansas State: visits No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday.