January 31, 2023

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Okay-State outlasts No. 24 West Virginia in Large 12 Opener

KSU defeated ACU 81-64 on Dec. 6. at Bramlage Colosseum. (Archive picture by Reece Bachta | Collegian Media Group)

Okay-State opened the convention play gauntlet towards No. 24 West Virginia with a gritty come-from-behind 82-76 additional time victory. Head coach Jerome Tang’s first season continues to be a hit because the Wildcats transfer to 12-1 (1-0). 

The Mountaineers climbed forward with a 17-3 lead eight minutes into the sport. Okay-State struggled on either side of the ball, capturing 1-11 in comparison with West Virginia’s 7-17.

Exterior of the early disparity in subject objectives, rebounding was a blaring problem within the first half. West Virginia collected 31 rebounds, dwindling Okay-State’s complete of 12. Eleven of West Virginia’s rebounds got here off of the offensive glass, contributing to 9 second likelihood factors for the Mountaineers.

Foul hassle additionally plagued the primary half. In a recreation the Wildcats lacked beginning heart David N’Guessan, beginning forwards Keyontae Johnson and Nae’Qwan Tomlin drew a number of whistles. Johnson had two first half fouls and Tomlin had three.

Regardless of the Wildcats’ woes, West Virginia solely led 32-21 at half.

Okay-State got here out of the break a lot stronger. An 11-5 run to open the second half closed the Mountaineer result in simply 5 factors. Yet one more close to glass-shattering slam by Tomlin signified a momentum swing. 

The primary lead of the night time for the Wildcats got here on the 12-minute mark with a Johnson layup. 

One other run, this time 15-2, gave the Wildcats their largest lead of eight factors. After lacking their first 9 3-pointers within the contest, Okay-State made three straight. As well as, Okay-State pressured 9 second half turnovers with 9 minutes nonetheless to play. 

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Over these remaining 9 minutes, foul hassle got here again into play. Ahead Ismael Massoud fouled out. Tomlin, Johnson and heart Abayomi Iyiola all had 4 fouls with 4 minutes nonetheless to play. 

With one minute remaining, West Virginia was in a position to take the lead again at 63-62. Okay-State had been scoreless for 2 minutes and it was anybody’s recreation. Okay-State led by three with 13 seconds on the clock, however West Virginia’s Kedrian Johnson hit a 3 to ship the sport to additional time. 

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The third period was less dramatic and largely dominated by K-State, outscoring West Virginia 16-10.

Iyiola, despite fouling out in overtime, had a strong performance filling in for N’Guessan. He notched a season-high 14 points and eight rebounds. 

Senior guard Markquis Nowell again proved he’s one of the nation’s top shot creators. Nowell had his fifth double-double on the season with 23 points and 10 assists. 

K-State and West Virginia were picked last in the Big 12 preseason polls. Now, both teams have received votes to be amongst the nation’s top 25, exemplifying how strong the Big 12 conference is. Each game will be a challenge as the Wildcats push for an NCAA tournament bid.

Fittingly, up next for K-State is a road game against No. 6 Texas at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3.