Wildcats get four in double figures to win third straight game

Senior guard Justin Edwards lays the ball up toward the basket on Dec. 9, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. Edwards sunk a total of 14 points, including two 3-point shots. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

On a night where the the winning team shot less than 45 percent, the Wildcats still managed to get five players in double figures in an 83-58 victory over Coppin State.

From the outset K-State took control of the ballgame, jumping out to an early lead with seven quick points and hustle plays from senior forward Stephen Hurt. After Hurt got going, freshman forward Dean Wade and junior forward Wesley Iwundu got on the board with back-to-back baskets as Coppin State struggled to get any type of traction on offense as they turned the ball over in five of their first six possessions.

“Our older guys again have been very very consistent,” Bruce Weber said after the game. “(Iwundu) has been very good, 14 points, three rebounds and five assists — no turnovers. He’s been pretty consistent; Stephen Hurt had a good start. It was good after the Georgia game where he didn’t score.”

The Wildcats endured their own shooting stretch midway though the first half, however. Over a three-minute span, the Wildcats failed to make a basket until Justin Edwards strung together back-to-back buckets to extend the Wildcats’ lead to double digits. Late in the first half, K-State made another run to pull further away from the Eagles by going on a 6-2 run in the last four minutes to go up 42-29 at halftime.

“As a team, it’s a good thing to see that we’re very versatile,” Iwundu said. “That helps us in scoring because some nights me and (Edwards) might have an off night, our younger guys are stepping up and that’s something we have to keep looking out for.”

The second half started to mirror the first half as the Wildcats picked up early buckets from Wade; however, things started to go south shooting-wise. The Wildcats endured another cold shooting stretch but gained some help with reserve junior forward Austin Budke coming off the bench for key contributions with 11 points off the bench joining four other players in double digit scoring on the night.

“The young guys just have kind of tagged along with the veterans and do their thing,” Weber said. “Austin Budke, just a good game for him and it’s positive. He’s a good young man and we need him.”

K-State outscored Coppin State 26-16 off the bench for the entire game.

“One of the things I wrote on the board was bench play,” Weber said. “And we’ve got to get consistency off the bench and that doesn’t mean they have to go make plays or score 18 or something. They’ve just got to be solid”

Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to College Station to face former Big 12 foe Texas A&M at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.