Cartier Diarra hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 21 seconds left to lead Kansas State to a 69-67 victory over Tulsa in the final non-conference game before the Wildcats’ conference season starts next weekend.
Diarra scored a career-high 25 points, including his trey to give the ‘Cats a 69-66 lead.
Tulsa’s Martins Igbanu hit 1 of 2 free throws to cut the lead to get within two with 13 seconds left. Kansas State’s Xavier Sneed missed the front end of a subsequent one-and-one, but Makol Mawien blocked Elijah Joiner’s tying layup attempt at the buzzer.
Besides Diarra, Kansas State (7-5) was led by Sneed, who scored 18 points. Mawien added nine points and seven rebounds, along with three blocks.
Tulsa (8-5) was led by Lawson Korita with 12 points, all in the second half. Jeriah Horne and Darien Jackson added 10 points each. Leading scorer Brandon Rachal was held scoreless in the second half.
The Wildcats improved to just 2-7 all-time against the Golden Hurricane after losing in each of the last two years.
After surging late in the first half, the Wildcats led by as much as 43-34 before Tulsa went on a 12-2 run — nine coming from Korita — to retake a 46-45 lead at the 13:39 mark. Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the way.
Kansas State started slowly. The Wildcats didn’t connect on a field goal until the 15:12 mark and then didn’t score again until the 11:34 mark. They missed 11 of their first 12 from the field, including seven from 3-point range. Four turnovers in the first 7:30 didn’t help.
The Hurricane went on a 10-0 run to pull out to a 16-3 lead. The Wildcats didn’t reach double-figures until Montavious Murphy hit two free throws at the 9:36 mark.
K-State got back into the game by hitting 4 of 5 from long range, slicing the Tulsa lead to 24-19 at the 7:13 mark. The ‘Cats grabbed their first lead with 3:34 left on a 3-pointer by Diarra. They finished with a 7-0 run to take a 40-34 lead into halftime.
Kansas State was led in the first half by Diarra with 16 points (going 5 of 7 from 3-point range) and Sneed with 10. Tulsa was led by Rachal with 9 points.
—Field Level Media