MANHATTAN (AP) — Less than a second was all it took.
That’s all Texas Southern needed to turn a two-point deficit into 58-56 win over Kansas State on Sunday.
Chris Thomas’ offensive rebound and putback tied it at 56 with 0.9 seconds left and, after Kansas State threw the inbounds pass away, Jason Carter hit a jumper as time expired, giving the Tigers their second win over 2014 NCAA tournament teams in eight days. Texas Southern beat then-No. 25 Michigan State 71-64 on Dec. 20.
“I did not see it coming,” Carter said. “I just got the ball and finished the play. It was just a lucky shot.”
A three-point play by Thomas Gipson and a layup by Marcus Foster gave Kansas State (8-4) a 54-48 lead with 1:45 remaining.
Chris Thomas made a layup to pull Texas Southern (3-9) within four. After Gipson made a free throw, a layup by Madarious Gibbs made it 55-52 with 16 seconds left.
A free throw by Nino Williams pushed the Kansas State lead back to four. Tonnie Collier made the first two of three free throws and Thomas put back the third to tie the game at 56 with .9 seconds to play.
After Jevon Thomas threw the inbounds pass away, Texas Southern got the ball out of bounds, setting up Carter’s winner.
Kansas State made 2 of 8 free throws in the final 69 seconds.
“We did not have any energy,” Gipson said. “That is where we lost it. I am pretty sure if people had energy, they would step up and make their free throws with confidence. I obviously did not, JT (Jevon Thomas) did not, and other people did not so that is what happens.”
Thomas and Gibbs scored 15 apiece for Texas Southern.
Marcus Foster had 17 points and three assists, Nino Williams added 11 points and five rebounds for Kansas State, which darted out to a 9-0 lead in the first 4 minutes. For the majority of the first half it was all Wildcats, led by Foster and his trio of 3s.
“We had a good start to the game and the 9-2, 15-5 start,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “We had some turnovers and had some times we let them get some rebounds and allow them to get their heads up. We were still grinding it out at half time. We knew it was going to be a low scoring game. We fought and had the game won, but some crazy things happened at the end.”
After making 2 of 9 shots to start the game, Texas Southern trailed by as many as 11 before closing the first half with an 8-3 run. The Tigers trailed 23-31 at halftime.
“I thought they came out that first part of the game and put us on our heels,” Texas Southern coach Mike Davis said. “We settled down, moved the ball and played with a good tempo.”
A three-point play by Thomas with 17:32 to play gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 28-27.
A jumper by Gibbs gave Texas Southern its biggest lead of the game, 43-36, midway through the second half, but Kansas State scored 12 in a row and didn’t trail again until Carter’s buzzer-beater.
Kansas State hosts Georgia on Wednesday.