Freshmen Lead Wildcats Past Gorillas

Nov. 1, 2013

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K-State AthleticsMANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State kicked off the 2013-14 season by beating in-state foe Pittsburg State 75-54 in an exhibition game Friday night in Bramlage Coliseum. K- State used a balanced offensive attack and a tough defense to cage the Gorillas.

The victory was led by the freshmen trio of Marcus Foster, Nigel Johnson, and Wesley Iwundu, who combined for 38 of the team’s 75 points on the night. Johnson had a team-high 15 points, including a perfect 10-of-10 effort from the charity stripe, while Foster and Iwundu pitched in 13 and 10 points, respectively.

K-State junior Nino Williams tallied 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds en route to the only double-double for the Wildcats. Senior Shane Southwell rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Wildcats with 10. Southwell, one of three returning seniors for K-State, also dished out five assists and had three steals.

Trailing 7-3 early in the first half, K-State took the lead at the 12:58 mark en route to a 17-2 run that saw the Wildcats outscore Pittsburg State 29-15 for the remainder of the half. Iwundu hit a three-pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the half at 38-22.

K-State came out firing in the second half and opened play on an 11-2 run highlighted by dunks from senior Omari Lawrence and sophomore D.J. Johnson. Leading by as many as 26 points, every Wildcat that dressed was able to see game action on the night with 10 of the 12 recording a point.

Pittsburg State junior Devon Branch led all scorers with 30 points and 16 rebounds on the night. Aside from an impressive performance by Branch, the defending Big 12 champions held the Gorillas to just 30.8% field goal shooting and forced 20 turnovers.

With the win tonight, the Wildcats are 37-9 (.804) at Bramlage Coliseum in exhibition play, including 15 straight wins dating back to 2004.

Kansas State will open the regular season officially next Friday as the Wildcats take on Northern Colorado. Tip-off from Bramlage Coliseum is set for 8 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Kansas City.