WICHITA — This was a game that will not go into Kansas State’s offensive highlight reel.
The Wildcats never developed a flow and coudn’t connect on 3-pointers despite many, many attempts. A 4-for-31 showing behind the arc will get a team beat, and that was K-State’s downfall in a 61-54 loss to Tulsa on Saturday at Intrust Bank Arena.
“The first half we ran the offense and got good shots and we just missed them,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “The second half, we probably panicked a little bit and forced some actions and got a little uncharacteristic.”
With Tulsa in a zone defense much of the game Kamau Stokes, Barry Brown and Dean Wade were a combined 2 of 19 behind the arc for the Wildcats (8-2), who shot 32 percent overall (18 of 56).
“They did a good job keeping a couple of people on Dean,” Stokes said. “We had a lot of good looks, especially in the middle of the zone, and just didn’t make shots.
“It was just a bad shooting night. Everybody goes through it, every team goes through it, and tonight was our night.”
Wade did score 13 points with six rebounds while Xavier Sneed turned in a strong performance with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Tulsa (5-4) didn’t exactly light it up, shooting 40 percent and going 8 of 22 on 3-pointers but got a big trey from freshman guard Elijah Joiner with just over three minutes to break a tie and stay on top.
“I thought our guys played with great toughness,” Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. “We made some big shots down the stretch, but I thought our defense was outstanding all night.”
The Golden Hurricane, who lost starting guard DaQuan Jeffries earlier in the week with a hand injury, switched between a 3-2 and 2-3 zone with some man-to-man mixed in.
“One of the zones we just put in two days ago when DaQuan went down,” Haith said. “I thought we kept them off-balance by changing our zones. Regardless of what you run, you have to guard the ball and I thought we did a good job keeping them out of the paint and making them shoot contested jump shots.”
K-State spent much of the first half launching 3-pointers over the Tulsa zone and failing to connect. The Wildcats were 3 of 17 behind the arc in a 38-percent overall shooting half (11 of 29) but still led 30-27.
Sneed made the three 3s to score 13 points and provided the highlight of the first half with a high-flying putback dunk. That slam was followed by Amaad Wainright’s steal and breakaway dunk that put the Wildcats back on top 26-25 and sent them on to the halftime lead.
The K-State guards got into the scoring act early in the second half. Stokes hit a pair of floaters and Brown converted a steal into a breakaway layup, but the Wildcats continued to misfire from long range by going 1 of 14 behind the arc in the second half.
Tulsa went on top 39-38 on a 3-pointer by Junior Etou, who led the Hurricane with 22 points and seven rebounds. After a K-State timeout, Stokes hit his first trey of the night after four misses to regain the lead that was exchanged several times over the next few minutes.
A 3-pointer by Joiner gave Tulsa a 56-53 lead with 3:13 remaining, and the Hurricane stayed on top the rest of the way.
“Their freshman guard jumps up with the shot clock running down and makes a tough, tough shot,” Weber said. “Give them credit. They made big plays.
“We didn’t make the shots and didn’t make the plays down the stretch.”
TULSA 61, KANSAS ST. 54
Etou 7-14 3-5 22, Igbanu 1-5 8-8 10, Henderson 2-7 2-2 6, Wheeler 1-1 0-2 2, Taplin 4-7 0-1 9, Artison 1-3 0-0 2, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Joiner 2-6 1-2 7, Scott 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 19-47 15-22 61.
KANSAS ST. (8-2)
Sneed 4-13 5-5 15, Wade 5-11 2-2 13, Mawien 1-1 1-1 3, Stokes 3-12 4-6 11, Brown 4-13 2-3 10, Sallah 0-0 0-0 0, Stockard 0-0 0-0 0, Patrick 0-1 0-0 0, Diarra 0-2 0-0 0, Wainright 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 18-56 14-17 54.
Halftime — Kansas St. 30-27. 3-Point Goals — Tulsa 8-22 (Etou 5-7, Joiner 2-4, Taplin 1-4, Jackson 0-1, Igbanu 0-1, Artison 0-1, Henderson 0-4), Kansas St. 4-31 (Sneed 2-8, Wade 1-4, Stokes 1-8, Patrick 0-1, Wainright 0-1, Diarra 0-2, Brown 0-7). Fouled Out — Brown. Rebounds — Tulsa 39 (Taplin 8), Kansas St. 29 (Sneed 8). Assists — Tulsa 11 (Taplin 6), Kansas St. 12 (Sneed, Stokes 4). Total Fouls — Tulsa 15, Kansas St. 18. A — 7,180 (15,000).
Contact Ken Corbitt at (785) 295-1123 or @KenCorbitt on Twitter.