The Short Story
- Senior forward Thomas Gipson led the way for the Wildcats with 21 points including 9-of-10 from the free throw line and led the team with 9 rebounds, making this the 30th time he has led the Wildcats in rebounding, as Kansas State outlasted UMKC, 83-73, in the opening game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational at Bramlage Coliseum on Monday night.
- Sophomore Guard Marcus Foster added 16 points off of 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
- Other double-digit scorers for K-State were junior guard Justin Edwards with 15 points and sophomore guard Nigel Johnson with 12.
- Sophomore guard Jevon Thomas set a new career high with nine assists breaking his previous personal best of eight.
How It Happened | First Half
- The Wildcats started the game slow, falling behind 23-13 by the 10:37 mark. The Kangaroos would hold a steady lead until Nigel Johnson’s three-pointer at 8:26 would spark a 10-4 run for the Wildcats to bring them within two.
- Dunks by Gipson and Edwards helped keep the game close for the Wildcats. Three pointers from Foster and Tre Harris late in the half would bring the ‘Cats within one in the last seconds of the half before heading to the locker room trailing 40-36.
- The Kangaroos scored 13 points off of 11 K-State turnovers, and lead by as many as 11 at the 9:49 mark. UMKC shot 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) compared to K-State shooting 13-of-26 for an even 50 percent and held a 20-16 advantage in the paint.
How It Happened | Second Half
- The Wildcats came out firing with Foster hitting two three’s and Edwards making one, pulling ahead 48-46 by the 16:04 mark and would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.
- Edwards’ improvement in the second half, totaling 13 points for the half on 5-of-7 shooting, as well as grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists, helped propel K-State to the lead.
- Also playing a part for K-State in the second half was Johnson, who added eight points and two steals.
- K-State improved its shooting to 68.2 percent (15-of-22) raising its total to 58.3 percent (28-of-48) for the game. UMKC dropped to 39.1 percent shooting 9-of-23 to average 47.2 percent (25-of-53) for the game.
Beyond the Boxscore
- K-State is now 67-3 (.957) in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 65-2 (.970) mark during the regular season.
- The Wildcats have won 56 of its last 57 non-conference home games.
- Weber is now 34-3 (.919) at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over at K-State.
- K-State is now 17-1 vs. UMKC, and is 11-0 all- time in Manhattan.
- The Wildcats are now 24-3 vs. teams in the WAC, including 17-0 at home.
- “I thought Nigel (Johnson) and Jevon (Thomas) did a good job. The first half they took it to us in every which way. The first 10 or 12 minutes we did not have any answers for them. We have a bunch of guys who are new to this, like Justin (Edwards). The end of both halves, we had pretty good runs. We told them you have to make plays, you cannot watch the game. We shot 58 percent, but the 17 turnovers are way too many. (Thomas) Gipson was solid for us, and he is playing like a senior. They are a good team. Kareem (Richardson) has done a great job. Now we have to go on the road and see if we can do something,” said head coach Bruce Weber.
- K-State hits the road for the first time in 2014-15, as the Wildcats travel to Long Beach, California, to face Long Beach State (1-1, 0-0 Big West) on Friday at 9:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Midwest. The Wildcats defeated the 49ers twice in 2013, including 71-58 at home on Nov. 17 and 52-38 at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Nov. 24.