In a tough conference, it’s hard for any team to win on the road. When your team relies on freshmen, it amplifies that problem. That’s the uphill battle the Kansas State Wildcats have been facing this season. They suffered their third conference road loss on Saturday in Ames against Iowa State, 81-75.
The Wildcats did suffer a loss, but there were a lot of positives to be taken out of this game. Their resiliency in the contest was incredible. The best example of this was a run they went on in the second half. In about one minute, K-State went from down 11 points to a tied game. That was the most extreme instance, but there were many times that the Wildcats could’ve been out of it. But they fought back and made it a close game.
Freshman Marcus Foster finally scored on the road for K-State. His 20 points were vital in keeping the team in the game. Senior Will Spradling also had 12 points, six of which came in an 11-0 run. All of Spradling’s points came from beyond the arc, where he went 4 for 6. Fellow senior Shane Southwell put in 14, but took 12 shots in the process.
Obviously in a loss, there were negatives too. When it mattered most, the Wildcats looked lost offensively. They also had a lot of breakdowns defensively. 81 points given up by a team that prides itself on defense is going to result in a loss almost every time. Especially with an offense that is stagnant at times.
The Wildcats have had a hard time winning on the road in the Big 12, but they also have played a couple of very good, hungry teams. They must continue to win games at home and win a couple games away from Bramlage to stay relevant. K-State should be able to bounce back nicely against Texas Tech on Tuesday in Manhattan.