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K-State Hosts 6/6 OSU in Big 12 Opener Saturday


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Jan. 3, 2014

K-State Athletics

Game Notes in PDF Format  |  Live Stats  |  Live Audio

GAME 14
6/6 OKLAHOMA STATE (12-1, 0-0 Big 12)
AT rv/nr KANSAS STATE (10-3, 0-0 Big 12)
Saturday, Jan. 4 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >>
Manhattan, Kan. >> 3 p.m. CT


TELEVISION
ESPNU
Mark Neely (play-by-play) >> Tim Welsh (analyst)
Randy Heritage (producer)

RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) >> Stan Weber (analyst)
Sirius 137/XM 195

LIVE STATS/AUDIO
kstatesports.com
Live Stats
Live Audio


TICKETS
kstatesports.com/tickets
(800) 221.CATS
$50 (bench), $65 (chairbacks)
12+ group: $15    

COACHES                      
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (UW-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 350-166 (15th year)
At K-State: 37-11 (2nd year)
Vs. Oklahoma State: 3-1 (1-0 at home)

Oklahoma State: Travis Ford (Kentucky ’94)
Overall: 306-211 (17th year)
At Oklahoma State: 116-64 (6th year)
Vs. K-State: 4-6 (1-3 on the road)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (10-3)
G – #55 Will Spradling (7.0 ppg., 2.6 apg.)
G - #2 Marcus Foster (13.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)
G - #1 Shane Southwell (11.5 ppg., 5.1 rpg.)
F - #25 Wesley Iwundu (7.1 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (11.5 ppg., 5.9 rpg.)

Oklahoma State (12-1)
G - #33 Marcus Smart (17.2 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G - #22 Markel Brown (16.5 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
F - #2 Le’Bryan Nash (13.5 ppg., 6.1 rpg.)
F - #4 Brian Williams (9.1 ppg., 3.8 rpg.)
C - #21 Kamari Murphy (6.1 ppg., 6.2 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 74-49 (7-4 in league openers)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 36-15 (W, 73-67, 1/5/2013)
In Stillwater: Oklahoma State leads 30-24 (W, 76-70, 3/9/2013)
Last Meeting: K-State, 68-57, 3/15/2013 (Kansas City, Mo.)
Weber vs. Oklahoma State: Weber leads 3-1 (1-0 at home)
Ford vs. K-State: 4-6 (1-3 in Manhattan)
Weber vs. Ford: Weber leads 2-1 (1-0 at home)

LAST GAME SUMMARY
Kansas State 72, George Washington 55
Game 13  *  Bramlage Coliseum  *  December 31, 2013
Senior Shane Southwell scored a career-high 21 points to help K-State conclude its non-conference schedule with a 72-55 win over George Washington on New Year’s Eve. He scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half, as the Wildcats climbed out of an early deficit against the Colonials to post its eighth consecutive win and finish off the month of December with a perfect 7-0 mark. It was Southwell’s first career 20-point game, as he also added five assists, four rebounds, three blocks and three steals in 31 minutes. Freshman Marcus Foster and junior Thomas Gipson joined Southwell in double figures with 15 and 12 points each. After falling behind 15-6 in the first five minutes, Southwell scored eight straight points to spark a 20-0 run for the Wildcats to turn the deficit in an 11-point lead with eight minutes before halftime. The squad held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.  
        
QUICK HITTERS
•    Kansas State (10-3) opens its 18th Big 12 season on Saturday, as the Wildcats face yet another daunting task with a match-up against No. 6/6 Oklahoma State (12-1) at Bramlage Coliseum at 3 p.m. CT. Both teams enter the contest on winning streaks with the Wildcats sporting an 8-game win streak and the Cowboys riding a 5-game streak.
•    K-State is 50-50 all-time in conference openers dating back to Missouri Valley play in 1914, including 34-18 in openers at home. The school is 6-11 in openers in the Big 12 era, including 4-2 in those openers at home. The Wildcats have won four of their last five Big 12 openers at home.
•    K-State and Oklahoma State will be opening league play for the 12th time with the Wildcats holding a 7-4 mark in those previous match-ups, including 3-0 at home. The two teams have met three times in openers in the Big 12 era, including twice in the last three seasons. Last season, the Wildcats posted a 73-67 win behind senior Rodney McGruder’s 28 points.
•    This will be the 124th meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 74-49, since that first meeting on Jan. 21, 1922. The Wildcats are 36-15 at home vs. the Cowboys, including 8-9 at Bramlage Coliseum. OSU leads the series, 14-7, during the Big 12 era, including a 4-5 mark in Manhattan. Since the Cowboys won 10 of the first 11 in Big 12 play from 1997-2007, the Wildcats have won six of the last 10 games.
•    K-State owns an 8-game winning streak, which ties for the longest of head coach Bruce Weber’s tenure, matching an 8-game streak from Dec. 18, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013. This is the third win streak of at least 6 games under Weber. The Wildcats are 13-1 in December under Weber.
•    During the 8-game winning streak, the Wildcats are holding foes to 51.6 points on 36.5 percent shooting, including 25.5 percent from 3-point range, while holding a +9.3 rebounding advantage (41.1-31.9). The team has out-rebounded 10 opponents, including each of its last nine foes.
•    K-State leads the Big 12 and ranks in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense (57.8 ppg., 8th) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.3, 7th). The Wildcats have held 11 of their last 12 opponents to under their scoring average, including eight to 60 points or less.
•    The Wildcats have shown remarkable balance across the board with six players leading the team in scoring, five in rebounding and seven in assists. Eight players have at least one double-figure scoring game, while three players - Foster, Gipson and Southwell - are averaging in double figures.

THE OPPONENT: 6/6 OKLAHOMA STATE (12-1)
•    No. 6/6 Oklahoma State (12-1) enters Saturday’s game on a five-game winning streak, which includes home wins over South Carolina (79-52), Delaware State (75-43) and Robert Morris (92-66) to go with neutral site wins over probable NCAA Tournament teams in Louisiana Tech (70-55) and Colorado (78-73). The preseason Big 12 favorite opened the season with seven straight wins before their lone loss to Memphis, 73-68, in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
•    Oklahoma State is 1-0 on the road this season - a 93-67 win over South Florida on Nov. 25. Overall, the team is 7-0 at home and 4-1 in neutral sites. In addition to La. Tech and Colorado, the team has impressive wins over Memphis, Purdue and Butler.
•    Oklahoma State is averaging 86.8 points on 50.3 percent shooting, including 38.5 percent from 3-point range, to go with 38.1 rebounds, 15.1 assists, 8.4 steals and 6.2 blocks per game, while allowing 63.7 points per game on 37.8 percent shooting.
•    The Cowboys rank among the Top 10 nationally in scoring margin (4th, 23.2), scoring offense (8th) and field goal percentage (8th), while they are in the Top 20 in turnover margin (12th) field goal percentage defense (13th) and blocked shots (17th).  They led the Big 12 in scoring margin, field goal percentage defense, steals and turnover margin.
•    Sophomore Marcus Smart paces four players in double figures at 17.2 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting, including 32.8 percent from 3-point range. The reigning Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year also leads the team in assists (4.1 apg.) and steals (2.6 spg.), while is second in field goals (71), 3-pointers (22) and minutes (29.2 mpg.). Senior Markel Brown is second in scoring at 16.5 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists on a team-best 31.5 minutes per outing. Junior Le’Bryan Nash averages 13.5 points on 56.5 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds, while sophomore sharpshooter Phil Forte averages 12.2 points per game on 47.2 percent shooting with a team-high 35 3-pointers and Big 12 -best 90.9 free throw percentage. Sophomore Kamari Murphy is the leader in rebounding (6.2 rpg.).
•    Oklahoma State is led by sixth-year head coach Travis Ford, who has led the Cowboys to four 20-win season in the last five years and boasts a 116-64 record his tenure. He has a 306-211 record in his 17th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Campbellsville (1997-2000), Eastern Kentucky (2000-05) and Massachusetts (2005-08).
•    Travis Ford is 4-6 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 1-3 mark in Manhattan.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    This will be the 124th meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 74-49, since that first meeting on Jan. 21, 1922. The Wildcats are 36-15 at home vs. the Cowboys, including 8-9 at Bramlage Coliseum. Oklahoma State leads the series, 14-7, during the Big 12 era, including a 4-5 mark in Manhattan. Since OSU rattled off wins in 10 of 11 meetings from 1997-2007, the series has been much more competitive with K-State winning six of the last 10 games and four of the last five.
•    Last season, K-State won two of three meetings with Oklahoma State, including a 73-67 win in the Big 12 opener on Jan.5 and a 68-57 victory in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center on March 15. The Cowboys won the contest in Stillwater, 76-70, on March 9. The teams were both ranked in all three meetings in 2013.
•    K-State averaged 70.3 points in the three meetings in 2013 on 41.2 percent shooting, including 34.4 percent from 3-point range, while holding OSU to 66.7 points on 41.4 percent shooting, including 26.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats held the Cowboys to below 70 points in each of its two wins, while it allowed 76 in the loss in Stillwater.
•    Departed senior Rodney McGruder led the squad in both scoring (25.0 ppg.) and rebounding (6.0 rpg.) in the three meetings in 2013, while Angel Rodriguez averaged 10.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals in those meetings.
•    Six Wildcats return who played against OSU last season, including Thomas Gipson (8.7 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), Nino Williams (7.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), Shane Southwell (6.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), Will Spradling (2.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), Omari Lawrence (1.0 ppg., 0.3 rpg.) and D.J. Johnson (0.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.). Southwell started all three games, while Spradling started two and Gipson one.

CONFERENCE OPENERS
•    K-State is 50-50 in conference openers dating back to Missouri Valley play in 1914, including 34-18 in openers at home. The Big 12 is the fifth league following the MVC (1914-28), Big Six (1929-47), Big Seven (1948-58) and Big Eight (1959-96).
•    K-State is 6-11 all-time in Big 12 openers, including a 4-2 mark in those openers at home. The squad has won four of its last five Big 12 openers at home, including wins over Missouri (1998), Nebraska (2000), Texas Tech (2003) and Oklahoma State (2013) to go with a loss to Oklahoma (2009). This is just the seventh time K-State has opened Big 12 play at home since 1997.  
•    K-State and OSU will be opening league play for the 12th time with the Wildcats holding a 7-4 mark in those previous match-ups, including 3-0 at home. The two teams have met three times in Big 12 openers, including twice in the last three seasons. The Cowboys won home games in 1999 (75-69) and 2011 (76-62) before the Wildcats earned a 73-67 win last season on Jan. 5, 2013.

VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
•    K-State is 96-219 all-time against ranked teams in The Associated Press poll, including 38-116 vs. Top 10 teams.
•    K-State is 1-14 all-time against the AP’s No. 6 team with nine consecutive losses.
•    K-State’s lone win against the No. 6 team came against Missouri at home on Feb. 29, 1992, 73-69.
•    K-State is 1-0 against ranked teams this season, defeating No. 21 Gonzaga, 72-62, at INTRUST Bank Arena in the Wichita Wildcat Classic on Dec. 21. It marked the eighth consecutive season that the Wildcats have beaten at least one Top 25 team.

SURGING IN DECEMBER
•    K-State heads into the month of January on a roll after posting a perfect 7-0 record in December. It marked the fifth perfect December in school history, following 1947 (9-0), 1993 (9-0), 1998 (6-0) and 2009 (7-0).
•    K-State is now 13-1 under head coach Bruce Weber in the month of December.
•    K-State has now won 35 consecutive home games in December dating back to 2004. The last home loss came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. Overall, the team is 47-8 (.852) in December since 2006.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
•    K-State wrapped up non-conference with a 10-3 record, posting eight consecutive wins and seven straight wins at home.
•    K-State totaled 10 wins in non-conference play for the eighth consecutive season in 2013 with a composite 81-18 record.
•    K-State has a 65-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 63-2 mark during the regular season. The squad has won 54 of its last 55 non-conference home games.
•    K-State was a stellar 13-1 in non-conference games in 2009-10, while the squad won 12 games each in 2008-09 and 2010-11, 11 games each in 2006-07, 2011-12 and 2012-13 and 10 in 2007-08 and 2013-14.

GEORGE WASHINGTON POSTGAME NOTES
•    K-State extended its winning streak to a season-best 8 games with its win over George Washington... The 8-game winning streak ties for the longest of the Bruce Weber era and matches an 8-game streak from Dec. 18, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013.
•    The win over George Washington was Bruce Weber’s 350th in his career in his 15th season as a head coach.
•    K-State has now held 11 of 13 opponents to below 65 points this season, including George Washington to a season-low 55 points on 34 percent shooting... It marked the 22nd time under Bruce Weber that a team has been held below 60 points (21-1 mark in those games), including the seventh time this season (7-0 this season)
•    K-State held George Washington to just 34 percent shooting (17-of-50), including 20 percent (5-of-25) in the second half... It marked the third time this season the Wildcats have held an opponent under 35 percent from the field.
•    K-State out-rebounded George Washington, 37-33, marking the ninth straight game the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent. The team is now 29-2 under head coach Bruce Weber when out-rebounding their opponent.
•    K-State was efficient on offense, recording 20 assists on 28 field goals. It marked the second time with 20 or more assists.
•    K-State connected on 48 percent of its field goals vs. GW, the second highest field goal percentage of the season.
•    K-State forced George Washington into 14 turnovers, scoring 10 points off of those miscues... The team has scored double-digit points off of turnovers in 11 games, including eight in a row, and are averaging 13.0 points off turnovers this season.
•    K-State notched double-digit steals for the second consecutive game and fourth time this season.
•    Senior Shane Southwell had a team-leading and career-high 21 points on 9-of-17 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range... It marked his first career 20-point game... He has now scored in double figures in seven of the last 11 games, including five times in the last seven games... He also added 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in 31 minutes of action.
•    Freshman Marcus Foster scored in double figures with 15 points on one of his best shooting games at 6-of-10 from the field... He has now scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games.
•    Junior Thomas Gipson also added double-figure points for the seventh time this season with 12 points on 5-of-6 field goals to go with a team-high 8 rebonds... He has now scored in double figures in 29 career games.
•    Junior Nino Williams provided a spark off the bench with a season-tying nine points in eight minutes of action.
•    Freshman Jevon Thomas dished out a season-high 6 assists in his home debut in a season-best 23 minutes of action.

WINNING WITH DEFENSE
•    K-State ranks among the Big 12 leaders in defense, placing first in scoring defense (57.8 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.3). The team also ranks among the Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (9th) and scoring defense (7th).
•    The Wildcats have held 10 of the last 12 opponents to its season low in points, including to 60 or less on seven occasions.  Eight opponents have been held below 40 percent shooting, while 11 have shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range.
•    If you take out the 90-point effort by Georgetown, the team is holding its 12 other opponents to 55.2 points per game on 37.4 percent shooting, including 25 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 15.0 turnovers per game.
•    During the team’s current 8-game winning streak, K-State is holding its opponents to just 51.6 points on 36.5 percent shooting, including 25.5 percent from 3-point range, while posting a +9.3 rebounding margin (41.1-31.9).
•    George Washington was held to 22 points under its scoring average of 77.7 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting. The Colonials had scored 75 or more points in six of 12 games, including wins over Rutgers and Maryland.
•    K-State held Tulane to a season-low 41 points on 28.6 percent shooting (12-of-42). The Green Wave were held to just 10 points on 13 percent shooting (3-of-23) in the first half. The 41 points were just outside the Top 10 for the fewest by an opponent since the 1946-47 season, while the first half field goal percentage was the third-lowest in a half by an opponent.
•    K-State held Gonzaga to a season-low 62 points on 48 percent shooting (24-of-50), including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs came into the game ranking 11th in scoring offense (87.5 ppg.) and among the Top 5 nationally in field goal percentage (52.6), 3-point field goal percentage (44.4) and total 3-point field goals made (100).
•    K-State held Ole Miss to a season-low 58 points on 37.9 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from 3-point range on Dec. 5, while reigning SEC scoring champion Marshall Henderson was held to just 13 points on 4-of-18 field goals.
•    Long Beach State’s 38 points on Nov. 24 tied for the fifth-fewest by an opponent in K-State’s modern era, which dates to the 1946-47 season. It was the fewest since Alabama-Huntsville scored 26 on Nov. 13, 2012.
•    K-State has held 24 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber with an impressive 22-2 record in those games.

EFFICIENT OFFENSE
•    K-State is averaging 67.4 points per game on 41.8 percent shooting, including 30 percent from 3-point range. Although the team ranks 10th in all three categories in the Big 12, the squad ties for the fourth-most assists (15.2 apg.) in the league.
•    K-State has an assist on a Big 12-best 64.7 percent (198 of 306) of its field goals this season. In fact, only two other Big 12 schools - Iowa State (62.9) and Baylor (60.7) - have an assist on 60 percent of its field goals.
•    K-State is averaging 69 points on 43 percent shooting, including 32.9 percent from beyond the arc, during its current 8-game winning streak. The team has an assist on 67.2 percent (135 of 201) of its field goals during its win streak.
•    In the last four games, K-State has assist on 72.9 percent (78 of 107) of its field goals, while averaging 72 points per game.

REBOUNDING AS A TEAM
•    A big key for K-State during its 8-game winning streak has been its rebounding, where the team has held a +74 edge (329-255) on the glass. The Wildcats have 123 offensive rebounds (15.4 orpg.) and 109 second-chance points (13.6 ppg.) in that span.
•    With its relatively small team, Bruce Weber has emphasized team rebounding and the Wildcats have responded with at least four players posting at least 4 rebounds in each win, including at least five players with 4+ rebounds in five of the last six games.
•    K-State is now 29-2 under Bruce Weber when out-rebounding its opponent, including 9-1 this season.
•    The Wildcats have out-rebounded 10 of 13 opponents this season, including a streak of nine consecutive games.
•    K-State posted a season-high 52 rebounds vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), including 23 offensive boards. It was most rebounds since 54 vs. North Florida (11/18/2012) and the most offensive boards since 24 vs. George Washington (12/8/2012).
•    Five different Wildcats have led the team in rebounding, including six times by Thomas Gipson, four by D.J. Johnson and twice by Wesley Iwundu and Shane Southwell.  Gipson, Iwundu and Johnson have each tallied double-digit boards.
•    The Wildcats tie for second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds at 14.2 per game, while two players - Gipson (4th - 2.6) and Johnson (8th - 2.4) - rank among the Top 15. Iwundu is just outside the Top 15 with 1.8 offensive rebounds per game.

SOUTHWELL CONTRIBUTING IN MANY WAYS
•    Senior Shane Southwell is finding ways to contribute in nearly every way, ranking first in assists (3.4 apg.), blocks (1.0 bpg.) and minutes (29.5 mpg.) and second in scoring (11.5 ppg.), rebounding (5.1 rpg.), field goals (57) and steals (1.1 spg.).
•    Southwell has been the assist leader in five games, scoring leader three times and rebounding leader twice.
•    Seven times he has scored in double figures with a career-high 21 points vs. George Washington (12/31). It marked his first career 20-point game after tying his career-high of 19 three times, including vs. Central Arkansas (12/1) and Tulane (12/28).
•    Southwell has scored in double figures 7 times in the last 11 games, including 5 times in the last 7 outings.
•    Southwell is averaging 15 points in the last 5 games on 46.2 percent shooting (30-of-65), while he is averaging 17 points in the last 3 games on 47.6 percent shooting (20-of-42). His 40 points in the last 2 games are most for him in back-to-back games.
•    Southwell ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in assists (10th), assist-to-turnover ratio (11th), blocked shots (14th) and steals (15th).
•    Southwell is one of 22 players in school history (along with Will Spradling) with 200 or more assists in a career, while he adds more than 500 points, 300 rebounds, 70 steals and 50 blocks in 108 career games.

GIPSON RETURNS TO FORM
•    Junior Thomas Gipson is starting to return to form after an injury sidelined him for the first two games. He is averaging 11.5 points on team-bests in field goal percentage (60.2) and rebounding (5.9 rpg.) since returning vs. LBSU (11/17).
•    Gipson ranks first in rebounding, second in scoring and blocked shots (6) and third in field goals (50) and free throws (26).
•    During the current 8-game winning streak, he is the leading rebounder (7.0 rpg.) and second-leading scorer (13.0 ppg.).
•    122 of his 126 points have been scored in the last eight games with team-highs of 18 points vs. Georgetown (11/22) and Long Beach State (11/24), 17 vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), 15 vs. Ole Miss (12/5), 13 vs. South Dakota (12/10), 14 vs. Gonzaga (12/21 and 12 vs. GW (12/31). During this span, he is averaging 13 points on 63.2 percent shooting to go with 7.0 rebounds per game.
•    Gipson has scored in double figures in 7 of the last 9 games, including a career-best stretch of 5 consecutive games.
•    Gipson earned his fifth double-double vs. Long Beach State (11/24)  with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-12 field goals and 10 rebounds. It was his first double-double since his 14-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Texas Southern on Dec. 18, 2012.

EXPERIENCE BIG FOR SPRADLING
•    Senior Will Spradling brings a great deal of experience to a youthful K-State team, having played in 114 games with 85 starts to go with 864 points, 270 assists and 100 steals. He ranks first on the team in steals (14), second in 3-pointers (17) and assists (33), third in minutes (28.8) and fourth in scoring (7.3 ppg.) and field goals (26) and fifth in free throws (19).
•    Spradling already ranks among the school’s Top 10 in six career categories, including 7th in free throw percentage (81.9) and 3-point field goals (151), 8th in minutes played (3,081), 9th in games started (85) and 10th in assists (270) and steals (100).
•    Spradling has chance to become the fourth Wildcat with 1,000 points, 250 assists and 100 steals, joining Steve Henson, Askia Jones and Jacob Pullen. He is 139 points short of 1,000 after posting above those totals in assists and steals.

FOSTER OFF TO STRONG START
•    Freshman Marcus Foster is off to strong start to his career, as he paces the Wildcats in scoring at 13.8 points per game on 38.3 percent shooting, including 34.6 percent from 3-point range. He also leads in field goals (59), 3-point field goals (27) and double-digit scoring games (11). He ranks among the Big 12’s Top 15 in three categories, including 5th in 3-point field goals (2.1), 8th in 3-point field goal percentage and 14th in scoring. He is one of two Big 12 freshmen to rank in the Top 15 in scoring.
•    Foster has scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games, including a streak of 10 consecutive games from Nov. 13 to Dec. 21. The streak started in the second game vs. Oral Roberts (11/13) and included him leading the team in scoring six times.
•    His 42 combined points vs. Oral Roberts (11/13) and Long Beach State (11/17) were the most in back-to-back games by a Wildcat freshman since Michael Beasley scored 46 against USC and Wisconsin in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
•    Foster scored a game-high 25 points vs. Oral Roberts (11/13), hitting on 9-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. It was the most points by a freshman since Michael Beasley had 25 vs. Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals on March 14, 2008. He is the first freshman to post a 20-point game since teammate Thomas Gipson in 2011.
•    Foster has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in 12 straight games, including a season-best four on three occasions.

FRESHMEN A BIG PART
•    The freshmen trio of Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Nigel Johnson combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in the first four games, marking the first time a freshman has done that since Michael Beasley did it the first four games of 2007-08. n  Overall, the freshmen have paced the team in scoring eight times in 13 games, including six times by Foster. They have also led the team in rebounding and assists on five occasions. They have also combined for 16 double-digit scoring games.
•    Foster and Iwundu have started together in 12 of the last 13 games, while Johnson is averaging 17.2 minutes off the bench.
•    The freshmen accounted for 33 of the team’s 72 points vs. Gonzaga (12/21) with Foster (35) and Iwundu (33) playing 30 or more minutes. The trio combined for 31 of the team’s 61 points vs. Ole Miss (12/5) to go with 20 of the 43 rebounds and seven of the 12 assists, while combining to play 97 minutes. Foster (38) and Iwundu (37) played season-high in minutes vs. the Rebels.
•    Iwundu became just the third Wildcat true freshman (since they became eligible in 1971-72) to post a double-double in his first career game, posting team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (10) in 20 minutes off the bench vs. Northern Colorado.
•    Iwundu registered his second double-double vs. Ole Miss (12/5) with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He is one of seven players in the Big 12 this time with multiple double-doubles, including two freshmen (West Virginia’s Devin Williams).
•    Johnson scored a team-high 14 points vs. Charlotte (11/21) to go with six rebounds and two steals. He posted his second double-digit scoring game with 13 points vs. Tulane (11/28) on 5-of-9 field goals, including a season-best three 3-pointers.
•    Three freshmen have accounted for 340 points (an average of 26.2 points per game) on 39.1 percent shooting (108-of-276) with 39 of the team’s 75 3-pointers to go with 137 rebounds, 71 assists and 33 steals in a combined 910 minutes.

THOMAS MAKES QUITE THE DEBUT
•    Freshman Jevon Thomas made his debut on Saturday vs. Tulane (12/28), leading the team in both assists (4) and steals (3) to go with two points and two rebounds in 19 minutes. He added a team-best 6 assists vs. George Washington (12/31).
•    Thomas signed as a mid-year enrollee on Feb. 27, 2013 and was granted an initial eligibility waiver by the NCAA. As part of his waiver he was not allowed to practice or play with the team until Dec. 21. Since that was the shootaround for the game with Gonzaga in Wichita, his first official practice was not until Dec. 25.

UP NEXT: AT TCU (9-3)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 >> Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201) >> Fort Worth, Texas >> 7 p.m. CT >> Big 12 Network