Poor Shooting Dooms K-State at LBSU, 69-60

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kansas State shot a season-low 32.8 percent from the field, including just 14.3 percent from three-point range, as the Wildcats dropped a 69-60 decision to Long Beach State before a sellout crowd of 4,256 at Walter Pyramid on Friday night.

Final Score: Long Beach State 69, Kansas State 60
Records: Kansas State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12); Long Beach State (2-2, 0-0 Big West)
Attendance: 4,256
Next Game: Monday, Nov. 24 \\ vs. Purdue at EA Sports Maui Invitational \\ 1:30 p.m. CT \\ ESPN2

The Short Story
•    Kansas State set season-lows for points (60), field goals (20), field goal percentage (32.8), 3-point field goals (3), 3-point field goal percentage (14.3) and assists (7) in their first loss of the season.
•    The Wildcats came into the contest leading the Big 12 in scoring (90.5 ppg.), field goal percentage (58.5), 3-point field goal percentage (58.1) and assists (20.5).
•    Seniors Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams led the way with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
•    Junior Justin Edwards and sophomore Marcus Foster were a combined 2-of-23 from the field, including 0-of-10 from 3-point range, and finished with a total of 7 points.
•    Junior Stephen Hurt corralled a season-best 8 rebounds in just 12 minutes.
•    Long Beach State led by as many as 14 points and held the lead for 38 minutes and 41 seconds.
•    Kansas State was playing its first true road game of the season and its first in non-conference play since a 65-62 win at George Washington on Dec. 8, 2012.
•    With the loss, K-State saw its 5-game winning streak in true road non-conference games.

How It Happened  |  First Half
•    Neither team was particularly sharp in the early going, but Long Beach State took advantage of Kansas State’s shooting woes to build a 9-2 advantage at the 14:39 mark of the first half.
•    The Wildcats missed their first nine field goals before sophomore Wesley Iwundu connected on a 3-pointer at the 14:06 mark to ignite a 9-1 run over the next 3:26. In that span, freshman Tre Harris knocked down a 3-pointer and Hurt had a tip-in to tie it at 10-all at the 11:13 mark.
•    The 49ers used a dunk by Eric McKnight to score six straight points and start a 21-7 run that saw the lead balloon to 31-17 with just under three minutes to play in the half.
•    K-State showed some resiliency at the end of the half, as the Wildcats scored nine of the last 11 points to close the gap to 33-26 at the break. Harris and Williams combined for all nine points during the run.
•    The Wildcats connected on just 29 percent (9-of-31) in the first half, including 27.3 (3-of-11) from 3-point range, to trail at the half for the second consecutive game.
•    Harris led all scorers with 8 points in the first half, while Williams chipped in 6 points.

How It Happened  |  Second Half
•    Long Beach State quickly pushed the lead back out to double figures with four straight points to start the second half before taking a 43-30 advantage with 13:58 to play.
•    The lead stayed near double digits for most of the half until K-State used a 7-0 run, which included a dunk and lay-up by Iwundu, to cut to 57-53 with 2:16 to play.
•    After the 49ers pushed the lead back out to seven points at 60-53 on an old-fashioned 3-point play by senior Tyler Lamb, the Wildcats closed to within four points twice down the stretch, first at the 1:09 mark after a pair of Gipson free throws and again with 49 seconds on a Gipson jumper.
•    However, LBSU closed the game out on the free throw line with six straight to end the contest.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    With the loss, K-State dropped to 92-22 in non-conference play since 2006-07, including 8-5 in true road games… The Wildcats are now 23-6 in non-conference play under head coach Bruce Weber.
•    The loss was the first in a road non-conference game since a 75-70 loss at Oregon on Dec. 7, 2008.
•    K-State still leads the all-time series with Long Beach State, 6-3… The loss snaps a 3-game winning streak by the Wildcats in the series… The 49ers now own a 2-1 edge in games played in Long Beach, Calif., and is the first win at home since a 75-69 win on Dec. 23, 1978.
•    The loss represented the first by head coach Bruce Weber against head coach Dan Monson in eight tries, which includes their stint in the Big Ten at Illinois and Minnesota, respectively.
•    Nino Williams and Malek Harris saw their first action of the season after missing the exhibition and first two games with injuries.
 
Up Next
•    K-State continues its nine-day road trip on Monday, as the Wildcats begin the Championship round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational against Big Ten foe Purdue (3-0) at 1:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Miles Simon (analyst) on the call.