Iwundu Dunk Lifts K-State Past 12/13 Iowa State


MANHATTAN, Kan. - Sophomore Wesley Iwundu's steal and ensuing dunk with 16 seconds remaining helped lift Kansas State to 70-69 come-from-behind win over No. 12/13 Iowa State on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum.

It marked K-State's fifth Top 25 win of the season, including the fourth at home, as the Wildcats earned its second straight victory over a Top 15 opponent at Bramlage Coliseum this week after knocking off No. 8/9 Kansas on Monday. K-State has now won 14 of its last 19 home games against ranked opponents, including 9 of the last 11.

K-State (15-15, 8-9 Big 12) earned the win in come-from-behind fashion, as the Wildcats trailed by 14 points with 4:30 to play in the first half and by 12 points with 10:39 remaining in the contest. It marked the second time this season (vs. Baylor on Jan. 17, 2015) that the squad has rallied from a 14-point deficit to win, which ties for the 12th-largest come-from-behind victory in school history.

The Wildcats got scoring help from all angles, setting season-highs for points in the paint (46) and fast-break points (20), while scoring 21 points off of 13 Cyclone turnovers. Overall, the team connected on 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the field, including 50 percent (16-of-32) in the second half.

Sophomore Nigel Johnson and junior Justin Edwards provided the lift for the bench, as Johnson followed his first career 20-point game with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-13 field goals, while Edwards added a season-high 16 points on 7-of-14 field goals. In all, the bench outscored the Cyclones, 37-3.

Iwundu was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11 points to go with a career-high 4 blocks.

Iowa State (20-8, 10-6 Big 12) were led by junior Georges Niang's game-high 21 points, while sophomore Monte Morris scored 15 points to go with junior Jameel McKay's 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 70, 12/13 Iowa State 69
Records: Kansas State (15-15, 8-9 Big 12); 12/13 Iowa State (20-8, 10-6 Big 12)
Attendance: 12,528 (paid)
Next Game: Saturday, March 7 \\ at Texas (17-12, 6-10 Big 12) \\ 3 p.m. CT \\ ESPN2

The Short Story
• Iowa State came out firing, drilling eight 3-point field goals in the first 20 minutes and building a game-high lead of 14 points (35-21) in the early going.
• Leading 40-33 at halftime, the Cyclones maintained their advantage for much of the second half until Iwundu's lay-up with 43 seconds gave the Wildcats a 68-66 lead. It was the first lead since it was 12-10 after a Stephen Hurt 3-point play at the 12:06 mark of the first half.
• After a 3-point play by Morris gave Iowa State a 69-68 lead with 27 seconds, the Cyclones were able to rebound an Edwards miss before Iwundu stole Niang's inbounds pass for the dunk.
• K-State ended the game on a 22-9 run, including 10-5 in the game's final 5 minutes.
• K-State held the lead for just 41 seconds in the game with Iowa State holding it for 37:19.
• K-State are now 11-3 on the season when shooting 45 percent or better from the field.
• After connecting on 50 percent in the second half, K-State has now connected on 50 percent or better from the field after halftime in 16 games, including 8 in Big 12 play.
• The 37 bench points were the most since posting 41 vs. Georgia (12/31/14) and the most against a Big 12 opponent since scoring 41 vs. Iowa State (3/13/14) at the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship... The bench also added 13 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals.
• K-State's 46 points in the paint were the most since scoring 48 at West Virginia (2/1/14) last season.
• K-State's 23 fast-break points were the most since scoring 23 vs. Texas (2/8/14) last season.
• The Wildcats have now scored 20 or more points off of turnovers in 5 games.

How It Happened | First Half
• Iowa State jumped out to a 10-2 advantage at the first media timeout, but K-State countered with a 10-0 run to take its first lead at 12-10 with 12:06 in the first half.
• The Cyclones reclaimed the lead with an 8-0 run before the Wildcats closed to within 18-16 with four straight points at the 9:31 mark.
• The 2-point deficit would be the closest it would get until the second half, as Iowa State used a 17-5 run to first, take a double-digit lead at 31-21 at the 5:52 mark, before expanding it to 35-21 with 4:30 to play.
• K-State was able to close the gap to 37-33 with 40 seconds left on a lay-up by Edwards to cap a 12-2 run.
• Iowa State took a 40-33 lead into halftime with a perfectly played final shot sequence as Niang found a wide open Matt Thomas for the Cyclones' eighth triple of the half.
• Both teams had 13 field goals in the first half with each shooting better than 45 percent from the field.
• 22 of K-State's 33 points came in the paint and off the bench.
• Niang led all scorers with 12 points - all from 3-point range - while Johnson had 11 for K-State.

How It Happened | Second Half
• Iowa State quickly pushed the lead back into double figures to start the second half, scoring 9 of the first 13 points to take a 49-37 advantage with 17:09 to play.
• K-State was able to respond with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 49-45 on a jumper by Thomas Gipson at the 14:46 mark.
• A 3-pointer by Dustin Hogue keyed an 11-3 run, which pushed the Cyclone lead back to double figures at 60-48 with 10:38 remaining.
• The Wildcats slowly chipped away at the deficit, cutting it 64-60 with 4:59 to play on a 3-pointer by Iwundu followed by a lay-up by Johnson off a Gipson steal to make it 64-62 at the 3:59 mark.
• Back-to-back lay-ups by Edwards tied it at 66-all with 59 seconds remaining.
• A block of a Niang 3-pointer by Iwundu spurred the Wildcats' first lead as he completed the play with a lay-up to make it 68-66 with 43 seconds.
• The Morris 3-point play with 27 seconds gave the Cyclones their final lead at 69-68 before Iwundu's steal and dunk with 16 seconds finished the scoring.
• After allowing 48.1 percent shooting in the first half, K-State held Iowa State to 38.7 percent (12-of-31) shooting in the second half, including 25 percent (3-of-12) from 3-point range.
• 24 of K-State's 37 second-half points came in the paint.
• Iwundu scored all 11 of his points in the second half, while Niang added 9 for Iowa State.

Beyond the Boxscore
• Today's game marked K-State's 12th contest vs. a Top 25 team this season, which ties the 2010-11 team for most in school history... The Wildcats are 5-7 vs. ranked foes this season, including 4-2 at home.
• K-State's 5 Top 25 wins tie for the third-most nationally, while its 11 Top 25 victories over the past 2 seasons also ties for the third-most nationally, trailing just Iowa State (15) and Kansas (14).
• K-State has now won 14 of its last 19 home games against ranked opponents, including 9 of the last 11, dating back to 2010... Overall, the Wildcats are 32-49 facing Top 25 opponents at home, including 17-9 since 2008.
• K-State overcame a 14-point first-half deficit for the second time this season and the first time since doing it against No. 22/23 Baylor (1/17/2015)... It ties for the 12th-largest comeback in school history.
• K-State leads the series with Iowa State, 137-83, including 80-25 at home and 20-7 in Bramlage Coliseum.
• K-State has now won 7 of the last 9 Senior Day games... The Wildcats have met the Cyclones 3 times in the last 6 seasons on Senior Day at Bramlage Coliseum and are now 2-1 in those contests.

• "I am just happy and proud of our guys, especially the seniors. This season has not gone as we had hoped or expected. We have had a lot of games like this where it came down to the wire, but throughout the whole season they have continued to battle and fight. The team did a great job on defense in the second half. It was a great effort by our bench. Nigel (Johnson) did really well and had nine rebounds and four assists. Jevon (Thomas) complemented Nigel well and led us on the play-hard chart. Justin (Edwards) was huge coming off of the bench. Wesley (Iwundu) only had a few minutes played in the first half because of fouls, but obviously came in with the huge steal at the end. Wes has length and can move a little better than some of our other guys, which was a big part of the game. There were just a lot of good things, and I was happy with our seniors. It was a great effort, great win, and a great crowd. It was a great win for us and a great week for the seniors to end their time at home," said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
• K-State concludes the regular season on Saturday, March 7, as the Wildcats play their final road tilt of the season at Texas (17-12, 6-10 Big 12) at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The Longhorns won the first meeting, 61-57, on Feb. 7 at Bramlage Coliseum.