(7) Texas 65

(23-4, 11-2 Big 12)

Kansas St 64

(14-10, 5-8 Big 12)

8:00 PM ET, February 22, 2006

Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kansas

1 2 T
#7TEX 42 2365
KSU 36 2864

Top Performers

Texas: L. Aldridge 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Blk

Kansas St: M. Taybron 12 Pts, 1 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

No. 7 Texas narrowly escapes Kansas St. with win

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kenton Paulino never did find his touch from the field -- not that anyone is likely to remember after the free throw shooting clinic he put on.

Paulino was 1-for-7 from the field, including 1-for-5 from long range, but he went 8-for-8 from the line, making four free throws in the final 16 seconds, helping No. 7 Texas beat Kansas State 65-64 Wednesday night and avoid its second straight loss.

"This might be the worst game he's had shooting 3s, but he did a great job at the free throw line," Longhorns coach Rick Barnes said. "With those five assists, it was a real good night for him."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points for the Longhorns, who were coming off an 81-60 loss at Oklahoma State on Sunday.

P.J. Tucker had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Texas (23-4, 11-2 Big 12) and Daniel Gibson added 13 points -- but both almost undid their scoring performances by missing free throws in the final minute.

Paulino's free throws capped an 11-point night.

Kansas State (14-10, 5-8) lost to Texas at home for the first time in Jim Wooldridge's six seasons as coach. It was the Wildcats' sixth loss in their last eight games, five by four points or less.

"It's frustrating," guard Akeem Wright said. "We fight hard out there to win these games. Losing by one points, by three points, it's tough. We've been in every ballgame, but we just haven't been able to close it out."

The Wildcats, who beat then-No. 10 Texas 58-48 in Manhattan on March 6, 2004, almost pulled off another upset despite losing their leading scorer and rebounder to foul trouble for much of the game.

But after David Hoskins scored to cut Texas' lead to 61-60 with 3:01 to go, Kansas State didn't score again until Hoskins made a free throw with 3.7 seconds left to get within 63-61.

Tucker missed two 1-and-1 opportunities in the final minute, but Brad Buckman rebounded Tucker's second miss with 19 seconds left and passed to Paulino, who was fouled and hit both free throws for a 63-60 lead.

After Hoskins' free throw made it a two-point game, Paulino was fouled and hit two free throws with 2 seconds left for a 65-61 lead. Mario Taybron hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer for Kansas State.

"I think right now it's getting to the point where we are trying to win a championship," Tucker said. "Any way you can get a win, you are going to take it. They fought hard, and we knew coming in that this is a hard place to play."

Cartier Martin, who came in averaging 18.7 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Wildcats, sat down with his third foul less than 4½ minutes into the game and did not return until the second half. He scored five points early in the second half but then picked up his fourth foul with just over 13 minutes to go.

He came back in at the 9-minute mark, but never found his offensive rhythm and fouled out with 41 seconds to go. His five points and one rebound were both season lows.

"Cartier is our leader and our scorer," said Taybron, who started for injured point guard Clent Stewart and scored 12 points. "With him not in the game, we have to get other guys in there to step up and score."

Lance Harris, held to four points in Saturday's 72-60 victory over Colorado, led the Wildcats with 18 points but was 0-for-3 from the field over the final 2:13.

"We had three chances in the last few minutes to take the lead, but we just weren't able to make a play," Wooldridge said.

Hoskins added 16 points for Kansas State.

The Wildcats led only once, when Taybron opened the game with a 3-pointer, and trailed by six at halftime. Harris' basket with just over 6 minutes left got Kansas State within 57-56, but the Wildcats never tied it.

"We've had to work hard for wins all year," Barnes said, "but in some ways winning a game like this is better for us than if we won it by an eight- or nine-point spread because we had to work for it."

The outcome might have been different had the Wildcats gotten to keep Taybron's apparent basket late in the first half. But a held ball was called before Taybron got the shot off, and Kansas State turned the ball over on its inbounds pass.

"It kind of hurt, because I thought I was fouled," Taybron said. "But you just have to move on and play the rest of the game."

The Longhorns hit their first four shots from the field -- including two 3-pointers -- and led 14-4 less than 4 minutes into the game. But Kansas State, which missed eight of its first nine shots, got within 32-30 on Harris' basket with just over 4 minutes left in the half.

Texas answered with a 7-0 run, though, and led 42-36 at halftime. It wasn't a one-possession game again until Harris scored with 10:51 left to get Kansas State within 53-50.

Stewart, who injured his ankle against Colorado, did not play Wednesday night.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 65 64
FG Made-Attempted 24-54 (.444) 22-63 (.349)
3P Made-Attempted 5-17 (.294) 4-17 (.235)
FT Made-Attempted 12-16 (.750) 16-20 (.800)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
Largest Lead 10 3

2005-06 Season

» Feb 22, 2006 TEX 65, @KSU 64Recap