Iwundu Guides K-State Past UMES, 80-53




0-1 (0-0 MEAC)

1-0 (0-0 Big 12)

D. Martin: 18 pts, 5 rebs
B. Copeland: 14 pts, 8 rebs
S. Randall: 6 pts, 2 rebs

W. Iwundu: 23 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
J. Edwards: 17 pts, 6 rebs, 3 stls
B. Brown: 17 pts, 4 rebs, 2 stls

UMES 21 32 53
K-State 35 45 80

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior Wesley Iwundu poured in a career-high 23 points to go with a career-tying 10 rebounds, as Kansas State won its season opener over Maryland-Eastern Shore, 80-53, in front of 11,389 fans in Bramlage Coliseum on Friday night. 

K-State (1-0) improved to 87-25 (.776) all-time in season openers, including 22-2 (.917) at Bramlage Coliseum. 

Senior Justin Edwards and freshman Barry Brown added double-digit scoring nights of their own, tacking on 17 points apiece. The pair went a combined 12-for-24 from the field and 4-for-10 from behind the arc. 

Junior D.J. Johnson saw the court for the first time since the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament game with Kentucky on March 22, 2014, scoring five points to go along with six blocks and two steals in his 14 minutes of action.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 80, UMES 53
Records: Kansas State 1-0, 0-0 Big 12 // UMES 0-1, 0-0 MEAC
Attendance: 11,389
Next Game: Monday, Nov. 16 \\ vs. Columbia \\ 8 p.m. CT \\ FOX Sports Kansas City

The Short Story
Iwundu collected his fourth career double-double and his first since March 3, 2014 with a career-high 23 points and career-tying 10 rebounds, as the Wildcats won their season opener over UMES, 80-53.
Iwundu led or tied for the team lead in points, rebounds, assists (4) and steals (3). 
Brown scored 17 points in his first game, going 7-for-15 from the field and 3-for-7 from behind the arc.
Edwards also scored 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go with a 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line.
K-State dominated in the paint and off of turnovers, outscoring UMES 38-18 and 22-2, respectively. 
The Wildcats’ 13 steals were the most since posting 16 vs. UT-San Antonio on Nov. 29, 1999.

How It Happened | First Half
Freshman Dean Wade opened the scoring in the first half just 17 seconds into the game with a dunk.
After trading baskets, UMES took a four-point lead, 9-5, into the first media timeout.
The Wildcats would put together an 8-0 run to retake the lead, 13-9, at the 12:54 mark. 
K-State’s lead hit double digits as the Wildcats took a 27-17 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first half. 
The largest lead of the half came with 47 seconds left in the half when the Wildcats went up by 13 points. 
Iwundu led all scorers at the half with 8 points to go with team-highs in rebounds (8) and assists (3). 
Johnson saw his first action of the season in the first half, posting 3 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. It was the first time he had seen the court in 16 months.

How It Happened | Second Half
K-State came alive in the second half, scoring 45 of its 80 points.
The teams traded baskets for much of the early part of the half, as the lead stayed in double figures.
The Wildcats began to pull away with just over seven minutes to play, as Brown hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 64-45.
K-State reached its largest lead of the game with 1:40 remaining as a Kamau Stokes 3-pointer gave the Wildcats an 80-50 advantage.
Brown scored all 17 of his points in the second half. 

Beyond the Boxscore
With the win, K-State is now 87-25 (.777) all-time in season openers dating back to 1903.
K-State improved to 74-9 (.896) at home in season openers, including 22-2 (.917) at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State is now 72-5 (.935) in non-conference play at home dating back to 2006-07, including 70-4 (.946) mark during the regular season… The Wildcats have won 61 of its last 64 non-conference home games.
Iwundu set career highs in points (23) and tied career highs in rebounds (10) and free throws made (9). 


“Well, it has been a long time, he did not get on the court, it was 16 months without basketball,” said head coach Bruce Weber on Johnson’s return. “One of the coaches had a stat, it was 602 days since his last game. It has been a long time coming. He has had two surgeries to boot, and he has really had a lot of emotional ups and downs. Last week, he really had a low. He had started coming back and then we had to pull him from practice because he had some soreness. I think he was worried, some of it was mental, and some of it was physical. I said you owe it to yourself. You have come so far and work so hard and been so patient. You have to give it a shot. If it does not work, it does not work. He has been good the last four or five days in practice, you can see his timing is a little off. He gives us a whole different dynamic. We have Stephen Hurt, a big body skilled guy, Dean Wade, a skilled forward inside outside, Austin Budke, an underside guy, and D.J. gives us that explosive athleticism. He was +12 on our plus/minus chart in the first half, which was great. He got right in there and got a basket. He will just get better and better. We have to hope and pray that his foot stays healthy, and he stays healthy and we get him back into basketball shape.”

Up Next
K-State continues its homestand on Monday, November 16 at 8 p.m., as it hosts Columbia at Bramlage Coliseum in the second game of a doubleheader. The women’s team hosts Abilene Christian at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $10, while fans can take advantage of the new Bramlage Bundle for just $20, which includes a general admission/bench ticket, $10 concessions voucher and a souvenir from the K-State Super Store. 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).