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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Late comeback isn’t enough as men’s basketball falls to BYU

Haylee Haslett
Guard Dai Dai Ames commands the offense in K-State’s Jan. 2 win over Chicago State. Against BYU, Ames scored the first eight Wildcat points.

Despite an 11-0 run late in the second half, Kansas State men’s basketball suffered a 72-66 loss on the road against No. 21 BYU. The loss moves the Wildcats to 15-9 and 5-6 in Big 12 play.

Early on in the night, the Wildcats and Cougars kept stride-and-stride with each other. K-State kept up because of the work of guard Dai Dai Ames, scoring the Wildcats’ first eight points — all his points on the night. After 13.5 minutes with no lead reaching five or more, BYU found its rhythm.

Despite knocking down only two 3s in the first half, both from center Aly Khalifa who returned after missing two games, the Cougars ended the half on a 15-8 run as the Wildcat scoring trio on the season – guards Cam Carter and Tylor Perry and forward Arthur Kaluma, combined for 14 points.

As the second half continued, so did BYU’s strong play. Thanks to an improved efficiency from deep and the inside work of forward Fousseyni Traore, the Cougars mounted a lead as high as 17.

It was a few minutes later as K-State faced a 16-point deficit that the tides swayed toward the Wildcats.

All five K-State players on the court contributed to the 11-0 run that placed the score at 64-59. The lead eventually fell to as low as two, but BYU withheld the Wildcat ambush and sealed the deal with a lead-extending layup and a defensive stop. BYU grabbed its fifth win in Big 12 play and the first win for the Cougars against K-State in the Big 12.

Traore ended the night as BYU’s lead scorer with 14 as four other Cougars joined him in double-digit marks. Kaluma led K-State with 18 points as Carter followed with 14.

The K-State loss further complicates a Wildcat path to the NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, K-State’s final seven regular season games provide an opportunity to push for a March opportunity. The path begins with a week break as K-State hosts TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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