January 4, 2007

Losing wasn't on K-State's itinerary

CINCINNATI - Coming home wasn't supposed to be this way. Sure, there were the warm wishes for and wide smiles from Kansas State coach Bob Huggins as he saw friends and fans leading up to his team's game with Xavier on Wednesday at US Bank Arena.

It was nice for Huggs, but he came back to the city around which he built his basketball coaching legacy to win a game. On that count, this trip was a miserable failure.

Huggins' Wildcats looked overwhelmed and ragged in their first game in the 10 days since winning the Las Vegas Classic with swarming defense and confident offense. Those traits seemed like distant memories in K-State's 76-66 loss to Xavier.

"We didn't have everybody hold up their end of the deal. We're not good enough to overcome that, honestly," Huggins said.

The Cats started strong enough, but then began to unravel. A 22-18 lead built with back-to-back Bill Walker baskets with about eight minutes remaining in the first half set up a 14-0 run as the Wildcats were plagued by a rash of turnovers.

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