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Wildcats keep NIT hopes alive

3/6/2004
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- It was senior day at Kansas State, and
the Wildcats were on national television for the first time in five
years.

No wonder students and fans, including school president Jon
Wefald, jubilantly stormed the court after Kansas State scored the
last eight points and stunned No. 10 Texas 58-48 on Saturday.

"They asked me about a week ago, what's your best moment at
K-State?" senior guard Jarrett Hart said. "I couldn't answer. I
can answer now. This is it."

Teammate Tyler Hughes went him one better.

"We might as well have just won the NCAA championship," he
said.

Tim Ellis hit six free throws in the final 52 seconds for Kansas
State (14-13, 6-10 Big 12), which won despite setting an arena
record with only 17 points in the first half.

"That was a thing of beauty, wasn't it?" Texas coach Rick
Barnes said, obviously disgusted.

The Longhorns were stymied all day by the Wildcats' 3-2 zone and
mostly fired away from long range, shooting only 9-of-32 on 3-point
attempts.

"We knew we had to shoot 3s," said Barnes, whose Longhorns
were outrebounded 42-32 one game after losing to No. 8 Oklahoma
State in a matchup of teams that were tied for first place in the
Big 12.

"We got great looks. We just weren't very good. Some guys just
didn't do their jobs," Barnes said.

The previous low for any Kansas State team in a half since
Bramlage Coliseum opened in 1988 was 18 points. The Wildcats missed
22 of their first 26 shots.

"It might sound funny, but we were still feeling good at the
half," Jeremiah Massey said. "We were playing great defense but
we just couldn't get shots to fall. But we knew sooner or later
they would fall."

The victory was just the fifth against ranked teams in 27 tries
for Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge, who walked a slow victory
lap around the court holding both hands aloft.

"I don't think we've had a bigger win," the fourth-year head
coach said.

Even though they shot just 19 percent in the first half, the
Wildcats trailed only 22-17 because the impatient, careless
Longhorns (21-6, 12-4) tied their season low for points in a half.

"A lot of things going into halftime were in our favor,"
Wooldridge said. "The tempo was right. We were rebounding, we were
holding them defensively."

Massey scored five points in a 12-3 run and put the Wildcats
ahead 40-34 with a free throw. Kenny Taylor then hit two 3-pointers
in the next two minutes and tied it 45-all with 3:31 left.

After Jason Klotz hit a bucket to bring Texas to 46-45, Taylor
missed a 3-pointer and Klotz missed from point-blank range.

"I don't know if I lost focus or what," Klotz said. "I pride
myself on doing things well inside. But I'm awfully mad at myself
for missing that.

"It's the second time someone's rushed the court on us. It just
kills you to have to watch that."

With 52 seconds left, Ellis hit two free throws to put the
Wildcats on top 52-48. Then he made it 54-48, and with the crowd
roaring, gave the Wildcats a 56-48 lead after getting fouled while
rebounding Brian Boddicker's missed 3-pointer.

Massey, held to just one point in the first half, finished with
14 points and 10 rebounds. Ellis had 13.

Taylor scored 11, and Sydmill Harris had 10 for Texas.

"You've got to give kudos to the team that played harder,"
Texas guard Royal Ivey said. "They played harder than us."