Basketball Post Game Wrap Up
It was ugly and perhaps undeserved, but Kansas State bounced back from its first defeat of the season Sunday with a 68-66 victory over South Carolina State at Bramlage Coliseum.
Five days after the Wildcats’ late collapse against No. 9 North Carolina in the CBE Classic, K-State looked like a team that left its spark in Kansas City, but it made just enough plays down the stretch to hold off a gritty Bulldog squad.
“I was worried we would have a little bit of a hangover,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “We didn’t have the energy we needed to have. But we did make some plays when we needed to.”
SC State refused to let K-State find any separation early on, and the Wildcats’ nine first-half turnovers proved to be costly. The Bulldogs led by as many as five and K-State didn’t take the lead for good until the 7:35 mark of the first half.
Even then, SCSU refused to go away. The Wildcats led 36-30 at halftime.
“We’ve been a good defensive team this year, and today we obviously weren’t,” Weber said. “You have to give them some credit. They exploited some of our weaknesses.”
After a 5-0 run by the Bulldogs to open the second half, K-State appeared to find its stride. Wesley Iwundu keyed a 10-0 run that saw the Wildcats’ lead grow to 11 points with 15 minutes to play.
But even then, success wasn’t sustainable. K-State suffered multiple scoring droughts of at least three minutes in the second half. SC State climbed back within a point with 8:13 to play.
The Wildcats’ 17 turnovers did a lot to negatively counter K-State clear rebounding advantage, 39-28.
Thanks to four clutch free throws by Justin Edwards in the final seconds, the Wildcats avoided a massive letdown after a very positive first two weeks of the 2015-16 campaign.
“You win games like this with character,” Weber said. “We had a similar situation last year against Texas Southern and didn’t win it. This time, we found a way to win.”
Edwards led the Wildcats with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Dean Wade added 12 points. Stephen Hurt also recorded a double-double, the first of his career.
K-State is now 5-1 on the season and returns to action Friday at Georgia. – See more at: http://1350kman.com/sloppy-k-state-hangs-on-to-beat-south-carolina-state/#sthash.V79xYfEO.dpuf