K-State Uses Big Run to Defeat Omaha, 84-66

Notes

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 84, Nebraska-Omaha 66
Records: Kansas State (4-3, 0-0 Big 12); Omaha (3-3, 0-0 Summit)
Attendance: 12,126 (paid)
Next Game: Saturday, Dec. 6 \\ at Tennessee \\ 6:30 p.m. CT \\ ESPN2

The Short Story
•    Senior forward Nino Williams led three Wildcats in double figures with 19 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists, as Kansas State pulled away from Nebraska-Omaha, 84-66, in its return from Maui before 12,126 fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night.
•    Sophomore guard Marcus Foster added 16 points off of 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. He tied a team-high with seven rebounds as well, in 28 minutes played.
•    Sophomore guard Jevon Thomas also scored in double figures with 12 points and dished out a team-high seven assists.
•    K-State set season highs in both rebounds (43) and assists (23).

How It Happened  |  First Half
•    The Mavericks jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to start the game, but Williams got the Wildcats back into the game, scoring five straight points to even the score. The rest of the half remained close until the Wildcats went on a 12-3 run to end the half with a 37-31 lead.
•    K-State was led in scoring by Williams with 8 points. Malek Harris provided a spark off of the bench scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds. K-State, as a whole, shot 46.7 percent from the floor, including 3-of-9 (33.3 percent) from the three-point line.
•    Leading by as many as six at the 11:29 mark, Omaha held a slight lead for better than 10 minutes in the first half behind C.J. Carter, who led all Omaha scorers with 14 points.
•    The Mavericks scored 19 points off of 9 Wildcats turnovers, and the Wildcats held the lead in second chance points at 10 to Omaha’s two.

How It Happened  |  Second Half
•    The Wildcats came out in the second half on a high note with a quick layup from Thomas Gipson followed by a 3-pointer from Jevon Thomas to go up 42-31. The Mavericks would fight to get back within five by the 16:54 mark, but it was the closest they would get for the remainder of the game.
•    Williams’ and Foster’s dominance in the second half helped balloon K-State’s lead up to as high as 21. Williams scored 11 points and grabbed two boards, while Foster added 10 including two three-pointers and three rebounds.
•    K-State cleaned up their play on the offensive end, committing only four turnovers and forcing Omaha into seven. K-State also outscored Omaha 22-16 in the paint.
•    The Mavericks tried to hang with the Wildcats, but a 13-2 run to give K-State a 19-point lead would put the game out of reach. The Wildcats outscored the Mavericks 47-35 in the second half to take the 84-66 victory.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    With the win, K-State has won 36 consecutive home games in December dating back to 2004.
•    This was the first ever meeting between these two teams. K-State is 28-2 (27-0 at home) against Summit League teams.
•    K-State is 14-1 (.933) under Bruce Weber in December with 12 consecutive wins dating back to 2012.
•    K-State has a 68-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 66-3 mark during the regular season.
•    Weber is 35-3 (.921) at Bramlage since taking over as head coach.
•    K-State has won 57 of its last 58 non-conference home games.

Quotable
•    “Overall, tonight was a good win. As a staff we were very leery of this game. Nebraska-Omaha has played very good basketball these last couple of weeks. They beat Nevada by 20 last Saturday, they won at Marquette and they started out the game 24-7 against Nebraska. Nebraska-Omaha has great quickness, they push the ball up the court. Tonight might have been Jevon (Thomas’s) best game of his career. He had seven assists and one turnover. He held their guard Devin Patterson to seven points and seven turnovers. As a coaching staff, we were worried about being still worn out from Maui but we actually ended up wearing them down. Now we have to go on the road and play a tough game against Tennessee. I hope our guys are looking forward to it, it is a chance to redeem ourselves and move forward as a group,” said head coach Bruce Weber.   

Up Next
•    K-State plays its second true road game of the non-conference season on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to play Tennessee (2-3, 0-0 SEC) in the second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tip is set for 2:15 p.m. CT and will air nationally on ESPN2.