Strong second half propels K-State over Saint Louis

Another slow start didn’t stop Kansas State from finishing 2015 on a high note. K-State used a late first-half run to build momentum against Saint Louis, then ran away late in a 75-47 victory Tuesday evening at Bramlage Coliseum. “It was a good team win and obviously we were a lot better in the second half,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “Sometimes it’s hard for us to get going and keep our foot on the pedal.” Similar to the Wildcats’ last game, a week ago against North Dakota, it took a while for K-State to get in a groove offensively. K-State struggled against the Billikins’ defense and trailed by as many as five points in the first half. But the Wildcats’ incredibly balanced scoring effort started to wear down its opponent shortly before halftime, when K-State turned a one-point game into a 35-28 halftime advantage. “We had a nice run at the end of the half, and we were able to keep that momentum going through halftime,” Weber said. “It was just kind of a knock-out battle early on. They hit some shots and we helped them out with turnovers.” Wesley Iwundu led K-State with 13 points, but almost every Wildcat contributed to the scoring. Kamau Stokes and Justin Edwards scored 11 and 10, respectively, while four other Wildcats scored at least seven. Iwundu recorded a team-high eight rebounds as well. The majority of K-State’s offense came in the paint and on free throws. The Wildcats’ struggles with jump-shooting continued, as they made just 5-of-15 three-pointers. When they hit them, however, they were important. Stokes’ three with 16:44 remaining gave K-State its first double-digit lead of the night. Later, Carlbe Irvin hit his first one of the season and ended a lengthy scoring drought. Saint Louis had problems of its own. The Billikins hit just 5 of 28 three-point attempts and shot 25 percent in the second half. The Wildcats are 10-2 on the season with Big 12 Conference play around the corner. K-State opens at home against No. 19 West Virginia at 11 a.m. Saturday. Weber said it’s hard to tell how his team will fare against tougher competition. “We’ll find out on Saturday,” he said. “Every year I don’t think the Big 12 can get better than it was the year before, but every year it does. We’ll have to wait and see.” – See more at:

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