Kansas State University

Kansas State tops Gorillas in first exhibition basketball game

Kansas State forward D.J. Johnson, right, is fouled by Pittsburg State forward Creighton Brinker during the second half of an exhibition college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Friday, Oct. 28, 2016.
Kansas State forward D.J. Johnson, right, is fouled by Pittsburg State forward Creighton Brinker during the second half of an exhibition college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Associated Press

Kansas State showed its offensive potential during an 85-72 exhibition victory over Pittsburg State on Friday at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats looked improved with the basketball in their hands, scoring at a rate that often seemed out of reach last season when they averaged 70.7 points and shot 30 percent from three-point range.

Dean Wade set the stage by making four of five shots from beyond the arc and scoring 14 points. It was an efficient night for the sophomore forward. He only saw 16 minutes of action, but he made the most of them, mixing in two assists and a rebound.

“My teammates got the ball to me when I was in rhythm,” Wade said. “They just drug it out when I was screening. I popped out and got open shots. I followed through, and all went well.”

Sophomore guard Barry Brown also looked good, making two three-pointers and leading all scorers with 17 points. Freshman wing Xavier Sneed came off the bench to score 13 points and freshman forward Isaiah Maurice added 10 points.

Eleven K-State players scored. They combined to make 38.5 percent of their threes.

“If we move the ball well and get it to open people I don’t mind shooting it,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “We were worst in the league last year, but we have worked at it.”

Things won’t come so easy when the season begins on Nov. 11 and the Wildcats play stronger competition, but this will boost their confidence in the meantime.

K-State looked sharp in the first half, scoring 49 points and making eight of 15 threes. It appeared on its way to triple digits until Weber pulled his starters with 11:55 remaining, up 70-44.

The Gorillas closed on a 28-15 run against K-State’s reserves, which raised some concerns about the Wildcats’ depth.

“That was my fault,” Weber said. “We subbed too much too early. We were trying to keep everyone under 20 minutes.”

Another disappointment: senior guard Wesley Iwundu finished with three points, despite scoring the game’s first points on an open shot from the outside. He attempted just four shots in 20 minutes, though he did have four rebounds and three assists.

Still, this was a positive start to the preseason for K-State. It showed what is possible when players knock down open shops.

The Wildcats will try and build off this performance in their second and final exhibition game against Washburn on Nov. 4.

“It was great,” Sneed said. “I think I had a pretty good game energy wise. That is what I bring to the team. I got a couple stops on defense as well. We all did well.”

PITTSBURG STATE: Hicks 3-7 4-6 10, Gaines 4-10 2-2 12, Pair 4-10 0-0 8, Clifford 2-4 2-2 11, Holden 2-4 0-0 6, Harrison 0-7 3-4 3, Brinker 2-5 0-0 4, Jones 2-6 2-2 7, Edmondson 1-2 0-0 2, Phelps 2-4 3-4 9. Totals 22-59 19-23 72.

KANSAS STATE: Ervin 1-6 3-3 5, Stokes 3-6 0-0 7, Johnson 4-4 1-1 9, Brown 6-11 3-4 17, Maurice 4-8 1-1 10, Sneed 5-10 2-3 13, Love 0-0 2-2 2, McAtee 1-1 0-0 2, Iwundu 1-4 0-0 3, Wade 5-9 0-0 14, Budke 1-2 1-1 3. Totals 22-59 19-23 85.

Halftime — KSU 49, PSU 33. 3s — PSU 9-25 (Phelps 2-2, Clifford 2-2, Holden 2-4, Gaines 2-6, Hicks 0-1, Brinker 0-2, Harrison 02-, Pair 0-4). KSU 10-26 (Wade 4-5, Brown 2-5, Maurice 1-2, Stokes 1-2, Iwundu 1-3, Sneed 1-4, Schoen 0-1, Ervin 0-2, Patrick 0-2). Rebounds — PSU 35 (Brinker, Hicks 8), KSU 43 (Ervin, Sneed, Johnson 7). Assists — PSU 10 (Clifford, Brinker, Jones 2), KSU 18 (Stokes 4).

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