Wildcats win on Big Red One Appreciation Day


    A day after final exams were completed, the K-State men’s basketball had to get up and play a basketball game before leaving for Christmas break.
    After a sluggish start, the Wildcats (8-3) were able to pull away from the Centenary Gents (2-10) by a score of 73-51 Saturday afternoon on Big Red One Appreciation Day in Bramlage Coliseum.
    “It’s a tough game to get up for,” coach Frank Martin said. “We have had an excellent academic semester so far and I wanted the guys to finish it the right way. So we didn’t practice as hard as we would have had it been a regular week.”
    With the win, K-State is now 7-0 in Bramlage Coliseum this year and it is the Wildcats’ 15 straight home win in the month of December.
    Fans in attendance saw a back and forth battle between the Gents and Wildcats in the first half. It wasn’t until two free throws by senior forward Darren Kent with 3:15 left in the first half that the Wildcats took control of the game for good.
    Kent scored the final nine points in the first half and the Wildcats took a 33-21 lead into the locker room.
    “It felt good to get out there and knock down some jumpers,” Kent said. “I had been struggling all year and when I made the first couple shots it gave me confidence for the rest of the game.”
    Kent would go on to lead the team and score a career high 24 points and grab 10 rebounds giving him his third career double-double. He is the seventh different leading scorer for the Wildcats this season.
    “Darren is going to continue to gain confidence in himself,” Martin said. “He’s put in almost three years worth of work to give himself a chance to succeed out on the floor. He’s got that ability to go out there and make some shots for us.”
Sophomore guard Fred Brown was the only other Wildcat to score in double digits with 14 points. 
    Leading the way for Centenary was senior guard Nick Stallings with a game high 27 points on shooting 5-7 from behind the 3-point line. The next highest scorer for the Gents was Anthony Gatlin with seven points.
    K-State will now have 10 days off for Christmas break and will host Wagner University at 7 p.m. on Dec. 30 in Bramlage Coliseum.