December 7, 2008

Wildcats log sloppy loss at Oregon

After three straight losses away from Bramlage Coliseum, more than a trend has emerged for the Kansas State Wildcats. K-State is good enough to play close on the road, but not good enough to win quite yet. The Wildcats were sloppy with the ball Sunday night at Eugene, Ore., and dropped a 75-70 decision to the Oregon Ducks in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

K-State took a three-point halftime lead at McArthur Court, but the Ducks opened the second half with a 12-2 run. The Wildcats cut the lead to one in the second half, but never led after Oregon took a 42-40 lead with 16 minutes remaining.

K-State shot 41.5 percent from the field (27-65) and turned the ball over 20 times. The Ducks scored first and the Wildcats fell behind early in both halves.

"That's completely unacceptable to be as bad as we are offensively and get beat to the punch every single possession," K-State coach Frank Martin said of the Ducks' strong starts. "We battle and get back into the game and can't get a stop the last three minutes of the game. We don't deserve to win."

It looked as if the Wildcats were poised to tie the game with 28.8 seconds remaining and trailing 71-68 when a call went against point guard Denis Clemente and the Wildcats, all but sealing the Cats' fate. Clemente hit a running floater from the right side and appeared to have Oregon's Churchill Odia slide under him for a foul and a potential three-point play. The basket, however, was waived off and Clemente called for a charging foul.

Oregon then held off the Wildcats down the stretch to go on 4-4 on the season, while the Wildcats fell to 5-3.

Clemente led the Wildcats with 19 points, scoring 13 in the first half. Jamar Samuels went 8 for 8 at the free line in scoring 14 points. Forward Ron Anderson added 12 points, all in the second half as he fueled the Wildcats' rally. Fred Brown scored 10 for the Wildcats.

Anderson went 6 of 7 from the field in the game, giving the Wildcats' a boost from the field in the second half, but he also went 0-3 from the free throw line, continuing his run of miserable free throw shooting. Anderson missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity with 1:36 left in the game and the Cats down by one.

It's not offensive skills that are limiting Anderson's time on the floor, Martin said.

"If he'd ever decide to defend, he'd play a little more. When you put him in the game, you hope he scores and they don't foul him because he's going to throw those off the backboard because defensively he's going to get beat," Martin said. "It's one of those deals where he's got to grow up and accept responsibility to defend and when he does that, he can help us."

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