Basketball Post Game Wrap Up
When Kamau Stokes went down with a painful knee injury in the first half of Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, an uneasy feeling took over Bramlage Coliseum.
Fortunately for Kansas State, its bench players were prepared to pick up the slack.
Big contributions from Carlbe Ervin, D.J. Johnson and Barry Brown lifted the Wildcats over Ole Miss, 69-64, in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
Stokes limped off the court with 12:36 left in the first half and had to be taken to the locker room in a wheelchair. In the minutes that followed, the Rebels turned an early eight-point deficit into a lead.
But Ervin, who took Stokes’ place at the point guard position, refused to get rattled after a shaky start. He scored seven points and dished out four assists in his career-high 24 minutes of action.
K-State (13-8) led 38-36 at halftime and grabbed control of the game with a strong frontcourt presence in the second half, spearheaded by Johnson. He scored eight of his game-high 14 points after halftime while also recording seven rebounds.
The Wildcats struggled once again from long range, making only three of 19 attempts, but the final make was massive. It came off the hand of Brown, who had just missed a free throw and hustled to get the rebound.
He drained the jumper from the corner, giving K-State a 60-45 lead and capping a 17-2 run with 8:45 to go. Ole Miss would not climb within single digits again until the final two minutes.
Brown finished with seven points, all in the second half. Wesley Iwundu and Justin Edwards added 11 and 10, respectively.
Ole Miss guard Stefon Moody, who entered the game averaging an SEC-best 24.5 points per game, was held to just 10 on 3-of-6 shooting. He had scored at least 20 points in 14 straight contests.
For the game, the Rebels (13-8) shot 39 percent and committed 17 turnovers.
K-State coach Bruce Weber said Stokes’ knee does not appear to have structural damage, but the freshman will undergo an MRI.
K-State finished the nonconference portion of its schedule with an 11-2 record. The Wildcats return to Big 12 play Wednesday, when they take on No. 4 Kansas in Lawrence.