GREENSBORO- The #14 Bobcats fell to #3 seed Kansas State in NCAA tournament First Round despite a 27-point performance by RaeQuan Battle
Here. We. Go! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/oxwNF5lykq— SWX Montana (@SWXMontana) March 18, 2023
At the 7-minute mark, the Wildcats worked to pull away from Montana State. A couple MSU turnovers gave K-State a six-point lead with 6:36 to play in the first half. Turnovers were a problem for MSU in the first half as they tallied nine in the first half. Kansas State had eight turnovers.
Great Osobor got a tough basket in the paint to drop with 3:25 to play which pulled Montana State back within three, 25-28.
30-25 Kansas State leads #MSUBobcats with 2:39 left in the half. Great Osobor has a focused look in his eye as if he's ready for this moment. 6 points for him. RaeQuan Battle has been on the bench with 2 fouls.— Austin Lee Parr (@Alparr22) March 18, 2023
Kansas State's Cam Carter scored on a lay-in with 1:32 in the half to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the night. Markquis Nowell blew past the defense on the next possession to increase the lead to nine with 52 seconds remaining in the opening half. Nowell had ten points in the first half.
Robert Ford III had some key defensive plays for the Bobcats in the final minute to pull the 'Cats back within single digits as they trailed by six entering halftime.
#MSUBobcats with a couple big time stops to end the half. They trail by just 6 to Kansas State. Free throws and turnovers cost them points in the first half. 2-6 from the line and 9 turnovers. To only be down 6 after all of that, Cats are in a good spot for the second half.— Austin Lee Parr (@Alparr22) March 18, 2023
Battle, who had to sit out for the end of the first half because of two fouls, came out firing in the second half. Battle scored the first four points of the second half to quickly pull Montana State within four.
As it was in the first half, Kansas State seemingly always had an answer. That answer was a 6-0 run to jump out to their largest lead of the game at 42-32.
In the second half, Kansas State slowly but surely added to their lead. A couple of baskets from Nae'Qwan Tomlin extended the Wildcat lead to 10 with 16:39 left to play.
A couple of Bobcat turnovers had them trailing by 13 with 7:34 to play, but a Great Ossobor dunk got the momentum going again.
The closest Montana State would get to Kansas State was eight points, but two slams within a minute by Desi Sills and Markquis Nowell gave the Wildcats a 12-point lead with just over a minute to play.
RaeQuan Battle led the Bobcats with 27 points, and Keyonte Johnson led the Wildcats with 18 as they beat Montana State 77-65.