November 4, 2006

Cats survive in Huggins' debut

This wasn't exactly what Kansas State fans had in mind for Bob Huggins' debut as the Wildcats' head coach. Yes, K-State won Saturday night's exhibition contest against Washburn but did so in what could be kindly described less than impressive fashion. Perhaps just as surprising, the normally excitable Huggins remained uncharacteristically calm as he watched his team struggle to a 94-90 triple overtime win over the Division-II Icabods.

Huggins wasn't pleased with his team's effort afterwards and made it clear that this group of Wildcats remains a work in progress.

"I've said before to you guys that it's a marathon, not a sprint. You get a wake up call now, if that's what you call it, and three games from now we could go through the same thing again,' Huggins said. "It comes down to doing the right thing every day. You have to do the right thing every day."

The Wildcats had chances to put the visitors away in each of the first two overtimes, holding three-point leads in both periods, but Washburn continued to find ways to answer. A trio of 3-pointers from Michael Williams in the second overtime helped give the Icabods a chance to win in the final seconds of the period, but sophomore Paul Byers' 15-foot jumper at the buzzer came up short, creating the need for a third overtime. Byers finished with 26 points and fouled out with 2:02 left in the third overtime.

K-State took another three-point lead in the third overtime after two Jermaine Maybank free throws coming off Byers' fifth foul and dodged a pair of bullets when Williams missed a two shots from behind the arc on the ensuing Washburn possession. The Wildcats were finally able to hold on after that point.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!