K-State slams West Virginia 78-56

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(Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian) Senior guard Shane Southwell looks to pass past West Virginia guard Juwan Staten during the second half of the Wildcats’ 78-56 beatdown of the Mountaineers Saturday in Bramlage Coliseum. Southwell led the team with 20 points, contributing to the momentum that K-State carried with it through most of the game.

Story

The K-State Wildcats (14-4, 4-1) followed up on their win over No. 25 Oklahoma earlier this week in front of a packed crowd at Bramlage Coliseum over the West Virginia Mountaineers (10-8, 2-3) 78-56. The game was close for the first several minutes, but as halftime neared, it became clear that K-State was the superior team. Three Wildcats finished in the double digits in scoring: Shane Southwell and Thomas Gipson with 20, and freshman guard Marcus Foster with 15.

Player of the Game

Southwell was the scoring threat that K-State will continue to need in Big 12 play against the Mountaineers. The senior forward came on strong at the end of the first half, heading to the locker room with 12, and came out strong in the second half. Along with his 20 points, he added five rebounds and four assists, while shooting a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

By the Numbers

K-State shot lights-out in the first half, shooting 5-10 from beyond the arc. Their defense was just as good, holding West Virginia to 6-20 shooting from the floor in the half. The numbers evened out some in the second half, but the Wildcats shot 42.9% from beyond the arc and displayed spectacular passing with 22 assists.

X-Factor

Speaking of assists, freshman guard Jevon Thomas had a lion’s share of the team’s assists, finishing with 8, and just as notably, no turnovers. Although he only scored 2 points, his excellent distribution around the hardwood shows a bright future for the freshman from Queens.

Momentum Swing

This one came early, and the momentum stayed with K-State for most of the game. With 15:25 in the first half, K-State held a precarious 10-9 lead over the Mountaineers. Over the next eight minutes, the Wildcats went on an 11-4 run that gave them a 21-13 lead. From that point on, K-State was in control of the game, extending their lead to 13 by half and over 20 a few minutes into the second half.

Moment of the Game

With 2:09 left in the first half, Southwell lobbed a pass into a crowded lane, finding Iwundu above the rim for an authoritative alley-oop dunk. On the Wildcats’ next possession, Southwell slammed home a miss by Nino Williams, eliciting an enormous crowd reaction from the fans at Bramlage Coliseum. K-State never looked back and continued to make plays above the rim in the big win.

Going Forward

K-State will take on the Texas Longhorns (13-4, 2-2 Big 12) on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. in Austin, Tex. on ESPN2.

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