MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)Last season, Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton had one of his worst basketball experiences of his life during a 39-point loss at Kansas State.
Fast forward one year, Boynton and the Cowboys got their redemption in a 64-59 win on the road against the Wildcats on Tuesday night.
“I feel like I exorcised some demons tonight,” Boynton said. “We were down 25 with 10 minutes to go in the first half last year. That stuck in my mind and I didn’t care how we got it done tonight just as long as we won.”
Playing in the state where he grew up, Yor Anei shot 6 of 6 from the field, hit the first 3-pointer in his career, had seven turnovers and scored 15 points for Oklahoma State.
“He has had an up and down year for us, but when he plays the way he does tonight, he gives us a good chance,” Boynton said.
Lindy Water III scored 12 points, Jonathan Laurent had 11 and Cameron McGriff provided 10 and eight rebounds as the Cowboys (12-12, 2-9 Big 12) picked up their first win against Kansas State since 2017 and now sit in a tie for ninth place in the conference with the Wildcats.
Mike McGuirl led the Wildcats (9-15, 2-9) with a season-high 16 points. Cartier Diarra added 15 points and Makol Mawien had 11 and Kansas State lost its fourth straight game.
The Wildcats got within one possession numerous times in the second half, but never held the lead in the final 20 minutes.
“Every time we got close they had an answer,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “We competed, we battled, but we just didn’t have the right play at the right time.”
Oklahoma State hit just two 3-pointers, but shot 18 of 27 from the free-throw line. The Wildcats made seven 3’s and were 12-of-22 shooting from the line.
The Cowboys outrebounded the Wildcats 38-29 and outscored Kansas State 30-22 in the paint.
“I’m going to continue to coach them hard,” Weber said. “Obviously I haven’t done enough because we’re not tough enough. We’ve got to stay strong together and help each other.”
The Cowboys went 22 of 43 from the field (51%) while holding the Wildcats to just 20-of-56 shooting (35.7%). Oklahoma State shot 13 of 16 from the field (81%) in the second half, which is the second-best ever by a Kansas State opponent.
Oklahoma State is playing better winning their second game in three tries with the lone loss coming to No. 1 Baylor in a game the Cowboys were very competitive.
“I think we’ve been playing much better the past two and a half weeks or so,” Boynton said. “Playing well against the number one team in the country helped our confidence, but I think it’s been a gradual development process.”
Kansas State: This is a tough loss for the Wildcats knowing this was a game they could’ve won. K-State will be even more fueled for its rematch on the road in March.
Oklahoma State: Fought hard for its first conference road win of the season and has won two of its last three games.
Kansas State travels to TCU on Saturday. The Wildcats will try to win their first true road game since Nov. 9 and their first win of February.
Oklahoma State returns home to host Texas Tech on Saturday.
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