MANHATTAN — Kansas State's futility streak reached turn-of-the-century levels Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
Texas used a 13-point surge late in the first half to take control and the Wildcats were unable to mount a serious challenge the rest of the way as they dropped their seventh straight, 70-59.
It matched a seven-game losing streak from 2001 and dropped the Wildcats to 9-18, 2-12 in the Big 12. K-State lost seven in a row from Jan. 20 to Feb. 14 that year, in Jim Wooldridge's first season as coach.
In 2000, K-State endured an 11-game skid in what not coincidentally was coach Tom Asbury's final season.
"It's tough, there's no doubt," K-State coach Bruce Weber said of the streak, just one season after the Wildcats shared a Big 12 championship. "It's no fun. No fun for anyone — not the guys — but that's our job as coaches, to try to help them and encourage them and that's all we can do.
"I think the guys have been good. They've come to practice and they're focused and ready to learn and do better, but you've got to be a little better, especially at the start of the game."
The Wildcats got off to another slow start against Texas (16-11, 6-8), falling behind 7-2 out of the gate and trailing 26-16 after Texas got a 3-pointer from Andrew Jones and free throw from Donovan Williams. They seemingly weathered that storm, trimming it to six to six, 26-20, on Xavier Sneed's two free throws with 6:48 left in the period.
But the Longhorns scored the next 13 points to lead 39-20 on Courtney Ramey's basket and took a 42-23 advantage to halftime.
Ramey led all scorers with 26 points for Texas, including 21 in the first half. The Longhorns cooled off after shooting 62.5% in the opening period but still finished at 52.3 for the game.
"I think what got us going was the defensive end — the physicality," said Ramey, who hit 8 of 11 first-half shots with three 3-pointers. "When you're physical on defense it just comes natural on offense.
"And hitting shots builds your mental attitude toward attacking."
Texas also got 12 points each from guards Jones and Matt Coleman in the game.
"Today we asked them to play with grit," Texas coach Shaka Smart said. "It's hard to come in here and play if you don't have a level of grit to you.
"Courtney did a good job of setting the tone with that and our other guys did a great job as well."
For K-State, which never got the deficit to single digits in the second half, Sneed was the leading scorer with 15 points and Makol Mawien had 14. Cartier Diarra and David Sloan finished with nine points each, but combined for just three points in the second half.
Mawien led K-State to a 41-28 rebounding advantage with 10.
The Wildcats have had a penchant for slow starts, and in games where they came back, struggling to finish. They never recovered from the late first-half barrage against Texas.
Asked if the Wildcats matched Texas' intensity level, Sneed said, "I think the score would shot that."
"We didn't come out with that same intensity in the game and it showed," Sneed added. "We were just trying to bounce back from there and it's tough to fight uphill, to keep fighting uphill.
"So we've got to come out and start the game a whole lot better than we did."
Compounding the Wildcats' problems were a 34.5% shooting day and 17 turnovers, 11 of them in the first half. Texas lost the ball 18 times but were better at converting with 19 points off turnovers to 11 for the Wildcats.
If K-State thought it faced an uphill battle trying to come back against Texas, the next two games are even more daunting. The Wildcats travel to Waco, Texas, on Tuesday to face No. 1 Baylor, which is coming off a home loss to No. 3 Kansas. And the Jayhawks visit Bramlage next Saturday for a nationally televised 12:30 p.m. game on CBS.