Defense Carries K-State Past Boston College, 72-54


GAME RECAP

54

72


NR/NR
BOSTON COLLEGE
EAGLES
3-2 (0-0 ACC)

NR/NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
5-0 (0-0 Big 12)

LEADERS:
K. Bowman: 13pts, 5rebs, 1ast
J. Robinson: 11pts, 3rebs, 3stls
C. Tava: 11pts, 3rebs, 2asts

LEADERS:
X. Sneed: 16pts, 8rebs, 3stls
D. Wade: 11pts, 8rebs, 2blks
B. Brown: 11pts, 3asts, 4stls

TEAM 1ST 2ND F
Boston College 22 32 54
K-State 31 41 72

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Kansas State used a stingy defensive effort, which included season-highs in both steals (13) and blocked shots (7), to advance to the Barclays Center Classic Championship game with a 72-54 win over Boston College at the Barclays Center on Friday night.

The Wildcats, which has started the season 5-0 for the first time since head coach Bruce Weber inaugural season in 2012-13, will play No. 23 Maryland (6-0) for the Barclays Center Classic Championship on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. CT. The Terrapins knocked off Richmond, 88-82, in overtime in the second semifinal. K-State is looking for its first in-season tournament championship since winning the 2011 Diamond Head Classic.

K-State held Boston College to just 33.3 percent shooting (17-of-51), including 35.3 percent (6-of-17) from 3-point range, with 14 of their 54 points coming from the free throw line. It marked the 51st time under Weber that the team has held an opponent to less than 60 points, including the third time this season. The 13 steals were the most since also posting 13 against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 13, 2015.

The Wildcats got things going offensively in the second half after a slow start, as the team knocked down 57.7 percent (15-of-26) of its field goals after halftime, including 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-point range. Freshman Xavier Sneed came off the bench to lead the squad in scoring for the first time with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc, to go with a team-tying 8 rebounds and 3 steals in a season-high 29 minutes.

Sneed was one of three Wildcats in double figures, as sophomore Barry Brown registered double digits for the fifth consecutive game with 11 points and fellow sophomore Dean Wade made it back-to-back games with twin figures with 11 points and game-tying 8 rebounds. Sophomore Kamau Stokes collected career-highs in both assists (6) and steals (4) to go with 8 points, while senior D.J. Johnson tied a career-best with 4 blocked shots.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 72, Boston College 54
Records: Kansas State 5-0, 0-0 Big 12 // Boston College 3-2, 0-0 ACC
Attendance: n/a
Next Game: Saturday, Nov. 26 // vs. No. 23 Maryland // 8:30 p.m. CT // American Sports Network

The Short Story
K-State held Boston College to just 33.3 percent shooting (17-of-51) and forced 21 turnovers to earn a spot in the Barclays Center Classic Championship game with a 72-54 win on Friday night.
The Wildcats posted season-highs for both steals (13) and blocked shots (7).
Freshman forward Xavier Sneed paced three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while sophomore Barry Brown (11) and Dean Wade(11) also registered double digits.
Sophomore Kamau Stokes collected career-best in both assists (6) and steals (4).
K-State was able to jump-start its offense in the second half, connecting on 57.7 percent (15-of-26) of its field goals, including 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-point range.

How It Happened | First Half
The two teams went back and forth early before K-State scored five straight points, including three straight free throws from Brown, to take a 10-7 lead at 9:44 mark.
The Wildcats increased their advantage to 16-8 with 6:28 before halftime after a pair of free throws from freshman Brian Patrick, who was pressed into action after Iwundu picked up two fouls.
An Isaiah Maurice jumper gave K-State a 26-17 edge with 2:54 to play.
Boston College closed the gap to 27-22 after a 3-pointer from Jerome Robinson at the 1:54 mark.
K-State was able to close out the half with four straight points, as Wade hit a jumper and Sneed knocked down a pair of free throws for a 31-22 advantage at the break.
K-State connected on just 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the field, including 0-of-10 from 3-point range, while it held Boston College to 29.2 percent (7-of-24), including 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from long range. The Wildcats were able to hit 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the free throw line.
The Wildcats held a 14-4 edge in the paint and turned 14 Eagle turnovers into 8 points.
Brown led all scorers at the break with 8 points, while Wade, Maurice and Sneed each added 6 points. Starters Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson combined for just 9 minutes in the first half due to foul issues, as Iwundu played for just 2 minutes.

How It Happened | Second Half
Stokes gave K-State its first 3-point field goals, a span of 11 straight misses, with a trey at the 17:27 mark, giving the Wildcats a 36-27 edge.
Boston College closed to 36-31 with back-to-back buckets at the 15:14 mark, however, consecutive 3-pointers by Stokes and Brown in a 24-second span and two Sneed free throws pushed the advantage back to 13 (44-31) with 13:20 to play.
The Eagles closed to within 44-35 with 11:39 remaining but the Wildcats quickly responded with 8 straight points capped by a Sneed 3-pointer to push the lead to 52-35 at the 9:45 mark.
The advantage would remain in double digits the rest of the way, growing to as high as 21 (72-51) after a dunk by Iwundu with 1:14 to play.
The Wildcats shot 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the field, including 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-point range, in the second half, while holding the Eagles to 37 percent (10-of-27). The team has connected on better than 50 percent of their field goals in 6 of the last 9 halves.
Sneed scored 10 of his game-high 16 points after halftime on 3-of-4 field goals, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Stokes and Iwundu each chipped in 8 points.

Beyond the Boxscore
K-State opened a season 5-0 for just the fifth time in the last 15 seasons, including the second time under head coach Bruce Weber.
K-State is now 2-1 against Boston College, in this, the first regular season meeting… The previous 2 meetings came in the NCAA Tournament in 1975 and 1982… The Wildcats move to 13-21 all-time vs. the ACC, including 7-15 on neutral courts.
The Wildcats’ 5-game winning streak is the longest since running off a 10-game streak from Nov. 24, 2013 to Jan. 7, 2014.
Sneed led the team in both scoring and rebounding for the first time in his career… His 16 points were one shy of his season-high of 17 vs. Western Illinois (11/11/16), while his 8 were a season-best.
Johnson played in his 100th career game and tied a career-high with 4 blocked shots.

Quotable
“Our team is a year older,” said head coach Bruce Weber on the team’s improved shooting from 3-point range. “They know how to get better shots. Adding Xavier (Sneed) gives us another weapon. Wesley (Iwundu) has become much better shooting the ball. In the second half, we went 7-for-13 (from 3-point range). It definitely broke their back. Every time they made a run, we made a play and had an answer. Slowly but surely, it broke their spirit. That’s something I spoke about. Imposing our will. Keep coming at them and knock them out. I think we did that in the second half.”

Up Next
K-State will play for the Barclays Center Classic title on Saturday against No. 25 Maryland (6-0) at 8:30 p.m. CT on the American Sports Network. An entire affiliates list for the network can be found online at www.kstatesports.com, while the games will be streamed live at http://americansportsnet.com/.