Kansas State routs USC Upstate 86-49

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State connected an impressive 50.8 percent from the field, including 48 percent from 3-point range, to extend their non-conference home winning streak to 22 games with an 86-49 victory over USC Upstate at Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night.

The stellar shooting night came with a trio of double-digit scoring efforts from juniors Kamau Stokes (17 points), Barry Brown (15) and Dean Wade (13). In all, 11 different Wildcats registered points.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Wildcats (8-1) spent little time jumping out to a lead in the first half, as the team sprinted out to a 14-0 run in the opening minutes, including four points and the opening basket from sophomore forward Makol Mawien. In the opening run, K-State connected on its first six shots, while holding the USC Upstate (3-8) to zero points in the first four minutes and two seconds.

Coming off his sixth-career 20-point game on Sunday against Vanderbilt, junior Kamau Stokes continued his hot hand, accounting for a pair of 3-pointers in the opening run. Stokes’ 3-point presence continued with the rest of the team, as the Wildcats shot 5-of-8 in the first 10 minutes of the game to jump out to a 24-2 lead.

Entering the game No. 3 nationally in 3-point shooting, the Spartans had trouble scoring any points early, as the Wildcats held them to just 23 points and 33 percent (5-of-16) from 3-point range in the first half. Prior to Tuesday’s matchup, USC Upstate averaged 11.2 3-point makes and 31.2 attempts per contest.

The defensive pressure was too much for the Spartans in the first half, as they were forced to settle for tough shots, shooting just 31 percent (9-of-29) in the half. On the opposite end, the Wildcats scored with ease, connecting on 50 percent of their shots (15-of-30) including a prolific 57 percent (8-of-14) from beyond the arc.

In the first half, K-State outscored USC Upstate 43-23, as Stokes led the way with 15 points, all of which came from beyond the arc on 5-of-6 shooting. Wade had a team-high 5 rebounds and Brown dished a team-best 4 assists.

The Wildcats continued the trend in the second half as Brown pulled up and connected on consecutive 3-pointers to open the half. Later in the half, Stokes, looking to continue his 3-point shooting from the first half, had a 3-pointer rim out and into the hands of Wade, who was able to collect it and throw down a put-back slam.

Ranking amongst the top in the nation, the Wildcats continued to be efficient in passing, accounting for 21 assists in the game and posting only 10 turnovers. Coming into Tuesday night’s action, K-State ranked tied for 14th in fewest turnovers per game (10.8) and 17th in assist-to-turnover ratio (5.5) in the NCAA.

As a team, K-State expanded its home-unbeaten streak to six on the season, behind 50.8 percent shooting from the field (30-of-59) and 48.0 percent from beyond the arc (12-of-25). Coming off a season high and third best all-time 91.7 percent from the free-throw line, the Wildcats continued to shoot well from the stripe, making 85 percent (11-of-13) from the line.

Defensively, K-State held USC Upstate to 36 percent (19-of-52) from the field and 33 percent (8-of-24) from three. The Wildcats outrebounded the Spartans 35-25 in the game and forced 18 turnovers in the game, collecting 36 points off of turnovers.

Three Wildcats hit double-digits in scoring on Tuesday, as Stokes led the squad with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and Brown and Wade added 15 and 13 points, respectively. In addition to their scoring efforts, Wade led the team in rebounding with 7 rebounds, while Stokes dished out a team-high 5 assists.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Kamau Stokes – Coming off his sixth-career 20-point game only two days ago against Vanderbilt, junior guard Kamau Stokes led the Wildcats with a hot hand in scoring, totaling 17 points in the game on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, in just 26 minutes.

STAT OF THE GAME

17 – The number of times the Wildcats have held opponents to under 50 points under head coach Bruce Weber. Of the 17 occasions, 4 have come this year, with the fourth coming Tuesday against USC Upstate.

SEASON RECORD UPDATE

  • K-State 8-1 (0-0 Big 12)
  • USC Upstate 3-8 (0-0 Atlantic Sun)