Balanced Attack Keys K-State to Win over Gonzaga

Dec. 21, 2013

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K-State Athletics

WICHITA, Kan. – Junior Thomas Gipson and freshman Marcus Foster each scored 14 points, as Kansas State posted a 72-62 win over No. 21/15 Gonzaga on Saturday at INTRUST Bank Arena.

With the win, the Wildcats (8-3) ran their winning streak to a season-best six games, and have now won two neutral court games this year, with both coming during their six-game winning streak.

Foster and Gipson were among nine Wildcats to score in the game, including fellow freshman Nigel Johnson and Wesley Iwundu. Foster has now reached in double figures in 10 consecutive games. Gipson has reached double figures in seven of the last eight games this season.

Iwundu also contributed 13 points and was a team-leading 9-of-11 form the free throw line, while senior Shane Southwell added 11 points and a team-best six assists and no turnovers. Sophomore D.J. Johnson led the team with six rebounds.

K-State also turned in another stellar effort on the defensive end, holding Gonzaga to a season-low 62 points and season-tying high 12 turnovers. The Wildcats, who lead the Big 12 in both scoring defense and 3-point percentage defense, have now held nine of their last 10 opponents to its season-low in points, including eight to 65 points or less.

The Wildcats forced the Bulldogs into a season-tying 12 turnovers, scoring 13 points off those miscues, and held a small 32-31 advantage on the glass, including 10 offensive rebounds.  The team has now out-rebounded their last seven opponents by a margin of 283-214. The squad also scored 26 points in the paint and got 17 from its bench.

Foster opened the game with a 3-pointer, enabling K-State to take an early lead just 51 seconds into the contest. The shot spurred a quick 8-2 scoring run with the largest lead of the half of six, including 29-24 at halftime. The Bulldogs shot 40.9 percent (9-of-22) in the first half, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range, and had more turnovers (seven) than free throws (three).

The second half started off fast like the first, as K-State scored the first four points to take a 33-24 lead at the 18:49 mark. Foster had a huge momentum swinging dunk at the 15:58 mark putting K-State up by eight. But the result of the game was not complete for the Wildcats until just 54 seconds remained in the game when K-State had the biggest lead at 12.

K-State’s offense was efficient all day, as the squad recorded 15 assists on 24 made field goals to go with a season-low four turnovers. The four turnovers for K-State tied for the third-lowest in school history and the fewest since the Presbyterian game on Nov. 18, 2010. The Wildcats connected on 44.4 percent (24-of-54), including a season high 76 percent (19-of-25) from the free throw line.

Pangos, who was held without a point in the first half, led all Gonzaga players in double figures with 14 points on 5-of-11 field goals in 39 minutes. Senior Drew Barham chipped in with 13 points and off the bench, while sophomore Przemek Karnowski contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

K-State will take a week off before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 28 against Tulane (6-6) at the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at Barclays Arena, which tips at 4 p.m. on FOX Sports 1.