SE: Top Moments of November 2015

At the end of every month during the athletic and academic year, K-State Sports Extra glances back at the month’s best plays, victories and moments. From exciting individual performances to teams pulling together for wins to special recognition of former players, November 2015 has been an exciting month to be a Wildcat.

Here are the moments K-State Sports Extra has dubbed this month’s best:

10. Men’s basketball opens the season 4-0
The Wildcat men’s basketball team opened the 2015-16 season on a high note as it averaged 80 points per game through its first four wins. The Wildcats were led in scoring by a different player in each of those four games – Wesley Iwundu, Justin Edwards, Barry Brown and Dean Wade – and capped off the streak with a 66-42 victory over Missouri in the CBE Classic semifinal game in Kansas City. 

The Wildcats posted wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore (70-52), Columbia (81-71), South Dakota (93-72) and Missouri during the stretch and saw three players – Justin Edwards (16 points per game), Wesley Iwundu (14 points per game) and Dean Wade (13.5 points per game) – averaging scores in the double digits.

9. Kamau Stokes’ 24-point performance against No. 9/8 UNC
Despite falling, 80-70, to the No. 9/8 North Carolina Tar Heels on Nov. 25, Kamau Stokes’ performance was anything but ordinary. The freshman guard scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-8 from the 3-point range. 

“It was that day. Sometimes it’s not on, sometimes it’s on,” said Stokes of his performance after the game. “I just played within the system and got it done. It was a great experience, not just for me, but everybody because we know that we can compete at the highest level.”

To read K-State Sports Extra’s feature with more on Stokes’ exciting game, please click here

8. Kindred Wesemann’s 28-point performance 
On Nov. 19, Kindred Wesemann helped push K-State past the South Dakota Coyotes, scoring a season-high 28 points in the 84-81, overtime victory. 

It marked Wesemann’s 18th career game with 10 or more points and her first this season. It was her third career game with 20 or more points. Wesemann also went a career-high 12-of-12 from the foul line. She is the fourth player in program history to be perfect on 12 or more free throws in a game. She was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, marking her 27th career game with two or more connections from beyond the arc.

7. Equestrian upsets No. 6 Horned Frogs
The K-State equestrian team upset the No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs, 10-9, in a head-to-head battle at Timbercreek Stables on November 13. Despite falling in both Equitation on the Flat (3-2) and Equitation over Fences (3-2), the Wildcats rallied to win Horsemanship (3-1) and Reining (3-2). 

“I think we preformed very well today,” said head coach Casie Maxwell after the win. “We have been building on this confidence for the last couple of meets and it was nice to be able to finish it today. They just kept fighting strong and we managed to get it in our favor today.” 

To read more about the Wildcat equestrian team’s victory, please click here

6. Rolando Blackman inducted into College Basketball Hall of Fame
Former Wildcat men’s basketball great Rolando Blackman was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 20. 

Blackman was a star for the Wildcats from 1977-81. He was one of just two players in Wildcat history to earn First Team All-America honors in consecutive seasons, and, in his four years, he guided the Wildcats to an 80-41 record, two trips to the NCAA Tournament – including the 1981 Elite 8 – and the 1980 Big Eight Tournament title. 

“I’ve been thinking about all the great people who were there for me,” Blackman said. “Jack Hartman gave me an opportunity and a chance to do things at a higher level. All my teammates, all the guys on the squad, we were there together as one trying to win the basketball games. I was also learning in school with my professors. It was all of us together on the court and off the court. I had a full education here at Kansas State and it was the full experience of it that made me successful today.”

To read K-State Sports Extra’s recent feature on Blackman, please click here

5. Football wins Sunflower Showdown
From start to finish, the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Nov. 28 was jam-packed with excitement for Wildcat fans. K-State (5-6, 2-6 Big 12) defeated the Kansas Jayhawks (0-12, 0-9 Big 12), 45-14, and escorted the Governor’s Cup home to Manhattan for the seventh consecutive season. 

“I’m glad we won. We played well enough to do so and that’s a plus,” said K-State head coach Bill Snyder after the game. “(The Sunflower Showdown) means an awful lot. I appreciate all the people in the state of Kansas; everybody has a side and it means a lot to so many people. It means a lot to KU people just as it does to K-State people and that makes it very meaningful.” 

To continue reading about this year’s Dillons Sunflower Showdown victory, please click here

4. Flowers, Schultejans earn back-to-back conference recognition 
On Nov. 2, K-State freshman middle blocker Macy Flowers earned her first career Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor following solid performances in wins over West Virginia (Oct. 28) and TCU (Oct. 31). Against the Mountaineers, Flowers matched a career-high in kills with 11 while swinging at a .476 clip. Against the Horned Frogs, she recorded 10 kills and five blocks 

The following week, freshman outside hitter Alyssa Schultejans also earned Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for her performance against Texas Tech and led all Big 12 freshmen in kills (3.33), points (3.67) and aces (0.33) per set for the week of November 2.

The duo’s honors mark the first time in school history that two different Wildcats earned the Big 12 Rookie of the Week award in the same season and are proof of just how much of an impact these two freshmen have made on the court for the Cats.

For more on Flowers and Schultejans, please click here

3. Burns earns back-to-back conference honors
Kansas State senior kick returner Morgan Burns picked up his second-consecutive Big 12 weekly honor on Nov. 23 as he was again named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance in K-State’s thrilling 38-35 victory over Iowa State. He also earned the award on Nov. 16 for his record-breaking performance in K-State’s loss to Texas Tech.

His 100-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Cyclones marked the second-straight week Burns returned a kickoff for a score. It was Burns’ third return for a score in 2015, while he became the first player in school history with two 100-yard returns in a season and first in the Big 12 since Fozzy Whittaker (Texas) in 2011. Burns is the only player nationally this year with two 100-yard returns, while his three kickoff return scores rank second in both school and Big 12 history.

To continue reading about Burns and his Big 12 weekly award, please click here

2. Volleyball earns NCAA Tournament bid
For the second straight season, the K-State volleyball team will head to the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats face in-state rival Wichita State in the first round on Friday, December 4 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

K-State, which is also making its fourth appearance in the postseason tournament over the last five years and 16th all-time, are one of four teams in the Lincoln sub-regional played at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. No. 4 national seed Nebraska and Harvard match up on Friday following the K-State-Wichita State contest, which starts at 4:30 p.m. Winners from Friday will advance to the second round contest, set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

“Just elated,” said K-State head coach Suzie Fritz about earning a spot in the 64-team field. “We feel like we deserve to be there, but at the same time, there were some things that got away from us in the last few matches. [We have] been wonderfully resilient. They have won the matches they are supposed to win, and I believe we have gotten better as we went. We are good enough to be one of the best of 64.”

To continue reading about the Wildcat volleyball team’s trip to the NCAA Tournament, please click here. 

1. Football posts biggest comeback in school history
Goal No. 10 of Bill Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success is Never Give Up – a goal K-State football took to heart in its 38-35 win over Iowa State on Nov. 21.

Despite trailing 35-14 heading into the locker room at halftime, the Wildcats never gave up and rallied to tie the biggest comeback in school history. The comeback victory over the Cyclones also marked the Wildcats’ first Big 12 win of the season.

“We had the mindset that we weren’t going to lose, and once you have that mindset, you can do whatever you want,” said linebacker Elijah Lee. “We’re fighters; we don’t give up until the clock strikes zero at the end of the fourth quarter.”

To read more about the win, please click here

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