MAUI, Hawai’i – Sophomore Marcus Foster paced four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 24 points, as Kansas State opened the Championship Round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational with an 88-79 win over Purdue before a sold-out crowd of 2,400 at Lahaina Civic Center on Monday.
With the win, K-State (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) advances to the semifinal round on Tuesday against No. 2 Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Wildcats were a 72-53 winner over Missouri in the second game.
Final Score: Kansas State 88, Purdue 79
Records: Kansas State (3-1, 0-0 Big 12); Purdue (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Attendance: 2,400 (sold out)
Next Game: Tuesday, Nov. 25 \\ vs. Arizona at EA Sports Maui Invitational \\ 6:30 p.m. CT \\ ESPN
The Short Story
- Kansas State connected on 53.3 percent (32-of-60) from the field, including 63 percent (17-of-27) in the second half, to rebound from Friday’s 69-60 loss at Long Beach State.
- Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field in the game, as Purdue actually connected on a higher field goal percentage (54.9 percent/28-of-51) than K-State.
- The two teams combined for 104 points in the second half and both shot better than 60 percent.
- The Wildcats have now scored 80 or more points in three of their first four games for the first time since 2009-10. The team is now connecting on nearly 50 percent (49.8) from the field this season.
- Foster tallied his ninth career 20-point contest, including his first in 2014-15, with a game-high 24 points to pace four players in double figures. It marked his 30th career double-digit scoring game, including his third this season, while he has now led the team in scoring 18 times in his career.
- Junior Stephen Hurt (11), sophomore Wesley Iwundu (10) and senior Nino Williams (10) also scored in double figures, as nine players contributed at least one point in the victory.
- Hurt tied his season-high with 11 points, while Williams had double figures for the second straight game.
- Iwundu had a solid all-around game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 29 minutes.
- K-State scored 22 points off of 13 Purdue turnovers, marking the third time this season that the Wildcats have tallied 20 or more points off of opponent miscues.
How It Happened | First Half
- The two teams battled back in forth in the early going before a Williams’ layup ignited a 6-0 run to give K-State a 19-13 edge at the 11:17 mark.
- Purdue closed to within 21-19 on a 3-pointer by Basil Smotherman, but Foster quickly pushed the Wildcats’ lead back out to 28-20 with a jumper and 3-point field goal with 6:50 to play.
- Hurt pushed the advantage to double figures (32-22) with a pair of free throws at the 4:00 mark, as the Wildcats finished the half scoring 11 of the last 13 points.
- K-State led 39-24 at halftime, which was the largest of the season and the first since the season opener with Southern Utah on Nov. 14.
- The Wildcats out-scored Boilermakers, 16-8, in the paint and converted 11 turnovers into a 17-5 edge in points off of turnovers in the first half. The team also held a 22-12 edge in rebounds.
- Foster led all scorers in the first half with 11 points.
How It Happened | Second Half
- K-State started the second half like it ended the first, scoring 12 of the first 19 points to push the lead to 51-31 with 17:07 to play on a tip-in by Hurt.
- The Wildcats maintained a double-digit advantage for most of the early part of the second half before the Boilermakers used a 22-10 run to cut it to single digits at 61-53 at 10:35 mark.
- After K-State pushed the lead to 66-53 on a quick 5-0 spurt, Purdue scored 17 of the next 26 points to close the gap to 75-70 on a 3-pointer by Kendall Stephens with 3:24 to play.
- K-State responded with five quick points, including a jumper by senior Thomas Gipson and huge 3-pointer by Foster, to push the lead back to 80-70 with 2:02 left in the contest.
- The Wildcats were able to end the game at the free throw line, converting 8 of its last 12 attempts.
Beyond the Boxscore
- With the win, K-State is now 93-22 in non-conference play since 2006-07… The Wildcats are now 24-6 in non-conference play, including 5-3 in-season tournament play, under head coach Bruce Weber.
- K-State evened its all-time record to 3-3 in the Maui Invitational and captured its first win in the tournament since an 84-80 overtime victory over Arizona State on Nov. 24, 1998… It was the first win in the opening game of the tournament since a 68-56 win over Chaminade on Nov. 22, 1985.
- The Wildcats have now won four consecutive games in the state of Hawai’i.
- Head coach Bruce Weber earned his 50th win at Kansas State, as he became the third-fastest coach (72 games) in school history to reach the milestone… Only head coaches Zora Clevenger (50-9, 1916-20) and Lon Kruger (50-21, 1986-90) did it in less games in school history.
- K-State has now won three in a row against Purdue dating back to 1988 and now leads the all-time series, 7-2, including 2-1 in neutral site contests… It was the first meeting between the schools since they opened Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 26, 1988 (an 81-77 K-State win).
- Head coach Bruce Weber snapped a personal 7-game losing streak to Purdue and earned his first win over the Boilermakers since a 66-48 victory while at Illinois on Feb. 8, 2009… Weber served 18 seasons (1980-98) as an assistant coach to Hall of Fame head coach Gene Keady at Purdue before starting his head coaching career… He is now 8-11 vs. Purdue in his head coaching career.
- K-State used a different starting lineup for the first time this season, as Iwundu and Williams joined Foster, Jevon Thomas and Thomas Gipson in the starting five.
- “Well, it was a good hard-fought win for us. I thought when you make shots, we didn’t make shots last Friday at Long Beach State. When you make shots you look better as a team, there is no doubt about that. Marcus (Foster) jumped up and made some big shots. When they made a run at us, Marcus’ three, Thomas Gipson’s back-to-back in the paint, scored buckets. I thought the game was dictated right from the beginning we had a great sense of urgency. We guarded the heck out of him, our Wayne McClain play hard chart. We were 36-18. We had doubled them at halftime. Loose balls diving on the floor. Marcus still on the floor, gets the timeout. Just all those little things that we kind of set for the game.” said head coach Bruce Weber.
- K-State will now play Arizona for the 14th time on the hardwood, as the two sets of Wildcats will face off against each other for the first time since 1999. The semifinal match-up will tip off at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN with Sean McDonough (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call. K-State owns an 8-5 advantage in the series, which dates to 1951, but Arizona has won the last two meetings.