K-State Holds Off South Dakota, 64-62

Dec. 11, 2013

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Shane Southwell and freshman Marcus Foster combined for 35 points on Tuesday night, as Kansas State used a late rally to survive 64-62 against South Dakota at Bramlage Coliseum.

Foster posted a team-high 18 points, including a season-tying four 3-pointers, to pace the Wildcats (6-3), who have now won four in a row. He has now scored in double figures in eight consecutive games to go with a team-high four assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Southwell tallied 17 points and six rebounds, while junior Thomas Gipson added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

“It was very frustrating, but we found some positives,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “We found a way to win and made some plays. We had a gut check three weeks ago when we played Northern Colorado and did not win it, this time we won.”

Southwell’s 3-pointer with 4:54 to play gave K-State the lead for good and spurred a quick 7-2 run that extended the lead to 63-59 with 1:29 remaining. However, the Wildcats made things interesting, as they missed five straight free throws in the last minute to give the Coyotes’ multiple opportunities.

Leading 63-60 with four seconds remaining, Weber opted to foul South Dakota and junior Brandon Bos responded by knocking down both free throws to cut the deficit to just one with three seconds. Gipson was fouled on the inbounds and knocked down 1-of-2 free throws for the final margin, as the Coyotes’ last shot came after the final buzzer.

K-State again found a way to win while struggling on the offensive end, as the Wildcats connected on 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field, including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from 3-point range, while shooting just 50 percent (10-of-20) from the free throw line.

However, the Wildcats were able to take advantage of opportunities on the glass and on defense, out-rebounding the Coyotes’ 39-32 and forcing them into 18 turnovers. K-State was able convert 18 offensive boards into 19 second-chance points, while the squad scored 15 points off of turnovers. The team also took advantage of its reserves, getting 16 points from its bench, including nine points, five rebounds and three steals by senior Omari Lawrence in career-high 29 minutes.

The team has now held seven of nine opponents to below 65 points, including four straight foes.

South Dakota (3-6) jumped out early, using an 11-0 run to break a 4-all tie, as Casey Kasperbauer’s 3-pointer gave the Coyotes a 15-4 lead with 10:58 to play in the first half. Foster was able to get the offense going with back-to-back 3-pointers, as a pair of Southwell free throws and another Foster trey cut the deficit to 18-15 with 7:44 before halftime.

However, South Dakota responded with a pair of 3-pointers to push the advantage back to nine points with 5:47 to play. A quick 6-0 run by K-State again cut the deficit to one possession, but a pair of lay-ups gave the Coyotes a 28-21 lead with under three minutes remaining.

Foster was able to trim the deficit to 31-26 with his fourth 3-pointers with 55 seconds before halftime, but the Wildcats were unable to cash in on two free throws with no time on the clock.

For the game, South Dakota connected on 50 percent (22-of-44) from the field, including just 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from 3-point range, while knocking 70 percent (14-of-20) from the line. It marked just the second time this season that an opponent connected on 50 percent or better from the field.

Senior Trevor Gruis led two Coyote players in double figures with a game-tying 18 points on 7-of-8 field goals to go with nine rebounds and three blocks in 40 minutes of action. Sophomore Adam Thoseby chipped in 16 points on 6-of-10 field goals, while sophomore Trey Norris added a team-high seven assists and four steals to go with eight points.
K-State returns to the court on Sunday when the Wildcats take on Troy (4-3) in the second game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader at 5 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN Kansas City.  

Tickets can be purchased for as low as $15 for bench and general admission seating through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office with chairbacks priced at $25. Fans can also purchase four bench tickets for $50, while groups of 12 or more can get bench tickets for $10 each. These tickets are available online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by calling (800) 221-CATS.