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Kansas State Outlasts Villanova in OT, 72-71

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Ryan Sarbello/Villanovan Photography
Junior guard Jordan Longino scored 16 off the bench in the loss.

Reeling after back-to-back losses to city rivals St. Joe’s and Drexel and a sixth-place finish at the Big 5 Classic, Villanova needed a big win. It did not find it in Manhattan, Kansas.

Villanova lost its third consecutive game on Tuesday, falling in overtime, 72-71. To make matters worse, graduate guard Justin Moore was injured early in the game.

Junior guard Jordan Longino was the leading scorer with 16 for the ‘Cats. He shot 5-17 from the field and 3-9 from beyond the arc.

Signs looked promising early for the ‘Cats early on, as they knocked down five threes before the ten-minute mark. Two came from Longino. Heading into a media timeout, the Wildcats had a six-point lead.

However, after the timeout, Moore was seen heading to the locker room and would not return to the floor for the rest of the game. It was later announced that Moore suffered a right knee sprain. 

Moore’s injury had a cataclysmic effect on Villanova’s offense. For the remaining 12:37 in the half, the ‘Cats scored just six total points. They scored one field goal in 23 attempts and missed 14 three-point attempts.

That enabled the opposing Wildcats to open a nine-point lead. While the ‘Cats were able to cut it down to five with seconds left in the first half, a botched final play call resulted in a Kansas State steal and a lay-in and-one from junior forward Arthur Kaluma. Kansas State went into the half with an eight-point lead.

Kaluma had a big game, scoring 17 points heading to halftime alone. Kaluma went on to finish with 26 points, four assists and nine rebounds. 

Coming out of the half, even in Moore’s absence, the ‘Cats started to get back into the swing of things. Led by Longino and senior guard TJ Bamba, Villanova was able to tie the game at the 12-minute mark on a Mark Armstrong layup. The ‘Cats weren’t able to grab the lead, however, as the opposing Wildcats took control and went up four. Kaluma continued to lead the way.

Everything went Kansas State’s way early in the second half. It went on an 8-0 run to build up a nine-point lead. However, it was back and forth from start to end and Villanova went on a 6-0 run to close regulation and force overtime, tied at 63.

Overtime looked promising for Villanova as two early free throws for graduate forward Tyler Burton gave the ‘Cats a two-point lead.

Those two free throws capped off a good game for the Richmond transfer, finishing with an 11-point 11-rebound double-double.

The ‘Cats held the lead for almost the entirety of overtime, capped by an Eric Dixon three-pointer to go up four. However, a quick score from Kansas State made it a one-possession game. The ‘Cats came up empty on their next offensive trip. Kansas State senior guard Tylor Perry hit a stepback three-pointer with seven seconds left, giving Kansas State a one-point lead, 72-71.

Villanova had a chance with just under four seconds left to go, but Longino, with time expiring, was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.

Villanova returns to Wells Fargo Center this coming Saturday, looking to get its first win in over ten days. The road gets no easier as the ‘Cats will take on the 11-time national champion UCLA Bruins in a major matchup. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Finn Courtney, Co-News Editor
Finn Courtney is a freshman Communications and Political Science double major and is entering his first year as one of the Co-News editors for 2024. With a passion for politics and sports, Finn's been a writer for as long as he can remember, was a four-year editor and leader on his high school paper and as a freshman has covered a variety of stories for The Villanovan, City of Basketball Love, and has been reposted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. When he's not typing up a story or filming with Villanova Television, you can surely catch him procrastinating on something, watching a Mets game (it's their year!) or trying to just live life to the fullest.
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