The Kansas State Wildcats came up just short against Team Mexico in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, losing 83-81 to fall to 1-1 during their international trip.
K-State had a chance to tie or take the lead with under 12 seconds to play, but a turnover on an inbounds pass and a wild layup with just under four seconds left cost the Wildcats that opportunity.
It wasn’t an especially efficient shooting day for K-State, shooting 37.5% from the field and just 25% from three-point range. The Wildcats did shoot free throws better than they did in Tuesday’s matchup with the Israeli Select team, however, knocking down 86% (24-of-28) of their foul shots.
Tylor Perry led the K-State scoring charge with a game-high 18 points after scoring 17 earlier in the week. Nae’Qwan Tomlin tacked on 15 points in the losing effort while Cam Carter had his second double-digit scoring performance in a row, pouring in 11.
Gael Bonilla was Team Mexico’s leading scorer with 17 points in the victory.
“This was exactly what our staff wanted,” K-State coach Jerome Tang said. “We wanted to be able to play all 10 guys, and try to balance the minutes. And we knew that Mexico had a really good team, so we were going to find out a lot about our guys today.”
Thursday’s game was able to take place because along with K-State’s nearly two-week trip across the Middle East, Team Mexico is one of several teams in Abu Dhabi currently training for the FIBA World Cup, which beings on Aug. 25 in The Philippines. Team USA is also among the programs in Abu Dhabi.
There has not been a public announcement about whether or not the Wildcats will play another game this week, but an earlier press release from K-State Athletics indicated they could play as many as three games during their overseas trip. Kansas State will depart and return to Manhattan this Sunday, Aug. 20.