K-State hopes for better offensive output against Savannah State

Senior forward Thomas Gipson pops up a shot on Nov. 17, 2014 at Bramlage Coliseum. Gipson made 21 points in the game against UMKC. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

K-State men’s basketball will look to distance itself from one of its worst shooting performances in recent memory this weekend against a struggling Savannah State squad.

The Wildcats and Tigers will tipoff from Bramlage Coliseum Sunday at 5 p.m. A victory would give K-State back-to-back wins for just the second time this season and the first in nearly a month, ironically the last time they played consecutive games at home.

“It’s definitely going to be important to get on a win streak right now,” sophomore guard, Marcus Foster, said Tuesday after K-State’s 50-47 win over Bradley. “It’s just going to keep carrying momentum, just like last year when we went on that 10-game win streak that carried over to conference play, which was good for us. It’s something we know that we can do, we just need to do it. I think we’re going to make it happen.”

Savannah State enters 3-7, fresh off a 31-point loss to No. 20 Miami and former K-State point guard, Angel Rodriguez, on Monday. The Tigers are in the middle of a tough five-game road stretch, which began with a 46-point loss to Indiana. They will play four teams from Power 5 conferences in all on the road trip.

The Tigers have struggled to score the ball through 10 games this season, averaging just north of 50 points per game. Sophomores Alante Fenner and Saadiq Muhammad lead the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game. Fenner is a lengthy guard at 6-feet-5-inches who also contributes on the boards with 4.4 rebounds per outing.

K-State made 12 field goals Tuesday against Bradley, which tied for the third-fewest in school history and the lowest since posting 11 against Nebraska in 2006. K-State has shown signs of a talented and even high-scoring offense, but have been held to fewer than 20 points in the first half of their last two games.

“I don’t think we have an identity,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “But we got to figure something out. I think mentality we all thought it would be offensively, we have better weapons offensively. It’s come to fruition, three or four games we scored pretty well, but the other ones we haven’t.”

Weber also challenged his team’s defense ahead of Sunday’s game. K-State held the Braves to 34 percent shooting from the field, but gave up easy buckets down the stretch to give Bradley a chance on the game’s final shot.

“We have to keep guarding,” Weber said. “You can’t have breakdowns defensively, especially when you get tired. We have to be more patient on offense so we know what everyone can do. We just have to keep getting better.”