Kansas State jumped out to a lead in its first of five summer exhibition games on Friday, but was unable to hang on against Sao Jose dos Campos and lost 81-67 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The Wildcats started the game on a 12-2 run and led 22-10 after the first quarter. Their opponents, who finished second in Brazil’s highest professional league last season and beat Utah by 12 points on Wednesday, pulled to within 33-32 at halftime.
It wasn’t until the middle of the third quarter that Sao Jose started to pull away.
This was K-State’s first exhibition game with Bruce Weber as coach. The game was also played against a strong opponent — before leaving for Brazil, Weber said there was a good chance K-State might lose its first three exhibition games before taking on lesser competition near the end of its 10-day trip.
Sophomore point guard Angel Rodriguez led K-State with 14 points and six assists, Nino Williams scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Jordan Henriquez scored eight points to go along with nine rebounds.
Junior guard Will Spradling seemed optimistic afterward. On his Twitter account he wrote, “We jumped on them early then let them back in it and lost in a tough battle against the 2nd best team in Brazil. Gotta bounce back.”
K-State will be back in action at 3 p.m. Saturday against Mogi Das Cruzes Club.