Wade’s double double leads Wildcats past former Big 12 rival Missouri

Freshman forward Dean Wade goes up for a basket during the first game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic against Mizzou at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Nov. 23, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Only four games into his collegiate career and Dean Wade already has a shining moment.

His 14 points and 13 rebounds pushed the Wildcats to a 4-0 record and spot in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic Finals. It was the first double-double of his career and despite the youth and inexperience from Wade, his aggressiveness from the start set the tone for the Wildcats as they jumped out to an early lead in the ballgame. The 13 rebounds are a season high for Wade and he credits his coaches, especially K-State assistant coach Chris Lowery for the added motivation.

“(The coaches), especially coach Lowery have been on me pretty hard lately about rebounding, and I just wanted to go out, be aggressive, box out and crash the boards,” Wade said. “That was my main focus tonight, defensive help too, but just being aggressive and it worked out.”

Meeting for the first time since February of 2012, the Missouri Tigers and K-State Wildcats collided in Kansas City for the semifinals of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

Both teams struggled shooting in the first half, especially the Tigers.

As the Wildcats took control of the ballgame early on, Missouri struggled to keep pace going 5-27 (18%) from the field in the first half which led to their steep 31-14 halftime deficit. The Wildcats didn’t fare any better in the first half and struggled to make shots as well only shooting 29 percent from the field.

Aside from Dean Wade’s consistency during the night was the tough defense and effort from the Wildcats. K-State outscored the Tigers in second chance points and point off of turnovers, Missouri was minus three in assist to turnover ratio and were out-rebounded by K-State 44-31.

“I didn’t have any issues with effort. I had issues with intensity,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said following the game. “We tried to warn them this is the way they play. Every team that Bruce Weber has ever had has played this way. You’ve got to match that. They struck the first blow and when that happened we got back on our heels and didn’t play very well. We got tentative and started firing up threes. We shot 19% in the first half. I’m sure that’s a record somewhere.”

Other Wildcats to help in the winning effort include the guard combo of senior Justin Edwards and junior Wesley Iwundu who each scored in double figures including eight boards from Iwundu who also added four assists.

The Wildcats will face North Carolina in the final on Tuesday. The Tar Heels defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 80-69 in the other semifinal. Sophomore Justin Jackson led UNC in scoring with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9 PM from Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.