K-State Rallies Past North Dakota, 63-49




5-6 (0-0 Big Sky)

9-2 (0-0 Big 12)

D. Bernstine: 13pts, 13rebs, 5asts
C. Seales: 8pts, 1reb, 1ast
C. Avants: 8pts, 4rebs, 2stls

B. Brown: 15pts, 2rebs, 3stls
W. Iwundu: 11pts, 5rebs, 3asts
D. Wade: 9pts, 6rebs

North Dakota 21 28 49
K-State 24 39 63

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Freshman guard Barry Brown came off the bench to score a game-high 15 points, as Kansas State remained perfect at home after a 63-49 win over North Dakota on Tuesday night before 12,440 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

With the win, the Wildcats (9-2) continued their best start since the 2012-13 season and moved to a perfect 7-0 in home venues this season, including 6-0 at Bramlage Coliseum. The team is now 78-5 at home in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season, while Weber is now 49-7 at Bramlage Coliseum during his career. 

Despite its offensive struggles, K-State again used its strength on the defensive end to propel itself to victory, holding North Dakota (5-6) to a season-low 49 points on 44.2 percent (19-of-43) shooting, including 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from 3-point range. The Wildcats have now held 44 opponents to 60 points or fewer in head coach Bruce Weber’s tenure, including four this season. 

Brown, who also added season-highs for both steals (3) and minutes (27), was joined in double figures by junior Wesley Iwundu, who had 11 points to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Iwundu has scored in double figures in a personal-best six consecutive games. Freshman Dean Wade added 9 points and 6 rebounds.

North Dakota was led by sophomore forward Drick Bernstine, who posted a double-double with a team-high 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 37 minutes. The Fighting Hawks played without their leading scorer, junior Quinton Hooker, as well as starting guard Geno Crandall.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 63, North Dakota 49
Records: Kansas State 9-2, 0-0 Big 12 // North Dakota 5-6, 0-0 Big Sky
Attendance: 12,440
Next Game: Tuesday, Dec. 29 \\ vs. Saint Louis \\ 7 p.m. CT \\ FOX Sports Kansas City

The Short Story
A 14-6 run to start the second half helped spark Kansas State to a 63-49 win over North Dakota on Tuesday night before 12,440 at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Wildcats are now 7-0 in home venues this season, including 6-0 at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State again used its defensive prowess to remain perfect at home, as the Wildcats held the Fighting Hawks to a season-low 49 points on 44.2 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from 3-point range.
The Wildcats have now held 44 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber.
K-State also excelled on the rebounding front, posting a 41-28 advantage, including a 22-14 edge in the second half. The team is now 9-1 when out-rebounding their opponent. The Wildcats pulled down a season-high 20 offensive rebounds, resulting in a season-high 23 second-chance points.
Brown led all scorers in the game with 15 points and set season-highs in steals (3) and minutes (27)… Iwundu scored in double figures for the sixth consecutive game with 11 points.

How It Happened | First Half
Wade opened the scoring for the Wildcats less than a minute into the game to take an early 2-0 lead. 
After North Dakota went up 8-4 at the 15:24 mark, K-State went on an 11-0 run to pull ahead 15-8 with 11:03 to play in the half. 
The Fighting Hawks turned the tables, using an 11-0 run to take a 19-15 lead with 5:13 before halftime.
The Wildcats were held scoreless until junior D.J. Johnson hit a layup with 4:22 remaining. 
A pair of free throws by Iwundu gave K-State the lead for good, 22-21, at the 2:12 mark, while two more free throws by senior Stephen Hurt helped the Wildcats to a 24-21 halftime lead.
Iwundu and Johnson led all scorers with 6 points apiece in the first half…Wade added 5 points along with 3 rebounds. 

How It Happened | Second Half
K-State opened up a 38-27 advantage in the first four minutes of the second half behind Stokes’ two 3-point field goals.
The lead hovered around 9 points for much of the second half as both teams traded buckets during the middle portion of the period. 
North Dakota cut the lead to 51-46 with 5:13 remaining after a pair of free throws by Bernstine. 
K-State responded with a 12-3 run to close out the game and secure the 63-49 victory. 
Brown scored 12 of his game-high 15 points after halftime in 16 minutes.
K-State dominated the boards in the second half, outrebounding North Dakota 22-14. 

Beyond the Boxscore
K-State held North Dakota to a season-low 49 points on 44.2 percent shooting (19-of-43), including just 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from 3-point range… It marked the 44th time that an opponent has been held to 60 points or less in Bruce Weber’s tenure with the Wildcats boasting a 39-5 mark in those contests.
K-State is now 64-19 when holding an opponent to 69 points or less under Bruce Weber.
K-State starters combined for a season-low 39 points… They had scored 50 or more points in 8 games.
K-State held a 41-28 edge on the glass and moved to 9-1 on the season when out-rebounding its opponent… The Wildcats grabbed a season-high 20 offensive rebounds.
K-State had a season-high 23 second-chance points and outscored North Dakota in points off turnovers (18-13), fast-break points (8-0) and bench points (24-16).

“Now they are NBA players for the next month – no school,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “They have to make a commitment to basketball. That is going to be key. That is what the message was – go enjoy your family and Christmas. This is a special time of year. When they come back, they have to be committed to getting better. They need to get in the gym and get shots up. We have to help them with concepts. It does not mean we will kill them in the morning or anything, but we will go a lot of two-a-days with a lot of shooting mixed in. Hopefully, more teaching plus shooting and then hopefully they learn something and it carries over to the game.”

Up Next
K-State returns home on Tuesday, Dec. 29 with a matchup against Saint Louis (5-5) at 7 p.m. CT at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets are available starting at $10, while fans can take advantage of the Bramlage Bundle for just $20, which includes a general admission/bench ticket, $10 concessions voucher and a souvenir from the K-State Super Store. There is also a Holiday Mini-Plan option, which gives fans a general admission ticket to both the Saint Louis game as well as the Big 12 opener with West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 2 for just $25. The contest will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (state of Kansas, Kansas City area), K-StateHD.TV and ESPN3 (outside of state of Kansas).