By AVERY OSEN , ASSOCIATED PRESS
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kace Febres scored 23 points and Texas Longhorns won its Big 12 Conference opener for the 15th time in 23 seasons, picking up a 67-47 win over short-handed Kansas State on Wednesday night.
The Longhorns won for the fourth time in their last five games. Kansas State’s Kamau Stokes, who averages 11.1 points per game, reinjured the ankle that sidelined him for much of last season during a morning shooting session and did not dress for the game. The Wildcats were already without Dean Wade, who is recovering for a foot injury.
Febres hit 8 of 10 shots from the field, including 7 of 9 from 3-point range. Kerwin Roach II had 10 points in the winning effort.
The Wildcats (10-3) have struggled offensively, averaging 67 points per game coming into conference play, and losing Stokes further hampered their ability to score. Makol Mawien had 12 points and was the lone scorer to reach double figures.
It was a good night for Texas from the 3-point line, shooting 64 percent and going 14-27, with five of those coming in the final five minutes.
Texas used a 33-12 run to end the game after trailing by as many as five in the second half.
With 10 minutes to play, Febres hit back-to-back three’s to give Texas a 40-35 lead and the Longhorns never trailed again.
The Wildcats used a 14-4 run to end the first half and start the second to take a two-point lead with 13 minutes left in the game.
Midway through the first half, Texas switched to a zone defense that stifled the Wildcats. K-State only went to the free throw line once while Texas shot three free throws in the first half.
Kansas State will need to rely on their bench play much more to carry the through this stretch without Wade and Stokes.
Texas picked up a huge road win to start conference play. If they can shoot the ball that well most of the season they will be in great shape.
K-State will take on No. 11 Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock.
Texas hosts West Virginia at 8 p.m. Saturday.