K-State topples Washburn in its lone exhibition

Brandon Bolden, sophomore forward, jumps to block a shot from Washburn freshman center, Jackson Davis, at the Wildcat home opener in Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Injuries plagued the Wildcats, but they pulled out a victory of 68-56. (Hannah Hunsinger | The Collegian)

With a limited roster due to injuries, the K-State basketball team rode its early success from behind the arc to beat Washburn 68-56.

Even with the hot start, the Wildcats could never quite pull away from their in-state opponent. They built a 17-point lead with under a minute left in the game, but allowed the Ichabods continual opportunities to claw their way back into the game.

After going three for three from 3-point range and building a 10-1 lead to begin the game, the Wildcats only made one of their next 15 attempts from deep. During the course of that run, Washburn cut the lead to as few as three points.

Marcus Foster knocked in two of the team’s first 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 17 points. Juniors Justin Edwards and Stephen Hurt also joined the sophomore guard in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The Ichabods traveled to Manhattan on their last stop on a grueling road trip, traveling to Lawrence on Monday and Norman, Oklahoma on Friday. They lost 85-53 against the Jayhawks and 73-48 to the Sooners.

Bob Chipman, Washburn’s head coach, is no stranger to the Wildcats and Big 12 basketball due to playing for the Wildcats under Jack Hartman in the 1970s.

In their first game action, K-State had to work around injuries in their lineup. They had six players over 20 minutes and three of their starting five exceeded 30 minutes.

The minutes caused problems for K-State and its conditioning as several players dealt with fatigue and cramping throughout the game. It also forced Edwards to play the four, which is a position that is out of norm for the Maine transfer.

“(Not being full strength) affected the game a lot, the guys that had to play too many minutes, it probably helped those guys,” Wildcats’ head coach Bruce Weber said. “We had 25 practices, and (Edwards) practiced at the four (spot) for one day, so we just had a crash course. We didn’t have continuity on our offense at all, I hope it helped those guys.”

The largest injury for the team was senior forward Nino Williams. He averaged 16.3 minutes last season and over six points per game.

“(With) Nino, we did a procedure on Tuesday,” Weber said. “It’s going to be like the (San Antonio) Spurs with Tim Duncan and (Manu) Ginobli. He’s our old man. We’ve got to rest his knees and get him through the season.”

Other players who were injured and sat out for the Wildcats were junior forward DJ Johnson, sophomore forward Wesley Iwundu and freshman forward Malek Harris.

Even with the injuries, the Wildcats made many mistakes. They allowed the Ichabods to secure 16 offensive rebounds and 34 rebounds overall.

Sixteen turnovers also harmed the Wildcats in their first showing of the 2014-15 season.

“I was trying not to get mad (in the timeouts),” Weber said. “I just wanted to make sure that the guys realized that they couldn’t go one-on-one, we’re not going to win games (like that), it’s not about them. Also, we got to get back on defense. If you make a mistake, you better be the first one back, things like that, that’s what we talked about.”