Northern Arizona came to Bramlage Coliseum looking for their first win of the season on Monday night, but Kansas State made sure it was nowhere to be found.
The 80-58 victory improved the Wildcats’ record to 4-0 on this early season, while the Lumberjacks dropped to 0-4. The game was the second K-State has played in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. They beat the University of California, Irvine 71-49 last Friday in the first game.
Junior guard Barry Brown led the team with 20 points. He was joined by fellow juniors Kamau Stokes (16) and Dean Wade (15), as well as sophomore Xavier Sneed (12) in the double-digit scoring club. Brown also nabbed a team-high six steals while dishing out four assists. Sneed was the team leader in assists with seven.
Three big advantages for K-State were turnovers/steals, points in the paint, and fast break points.
The Cats stole the ball away from the Lumberjacks 19 times, forcing a total of 31 turnovers while they only gave up the ball 12 times. Those takeaways led to 38 points in their favor.
K-State also won the battle down low, doubling NAU’s points-in-the-paint total, 40-20. 22 of those 40 points came in the second half. K-State racked up 20 points off fast breaks, compared to just six for NAU.
With his 15 points against the Lumberjacks, Wade has now scored double digits in all but one game. The same is true of Stokes and Sneed. Wade missed out on double digit points against American, Stokes against UMKC, and Sneed against American.
Monday night’s game marked the last of a four-game home-stand to open the season for K-State. On Thursday, the Wildcats will face the Arizona State Sun Devils in the hosts’ side of the bracket. Depending on the outcome, they will play either George Washington or Xavier on Friday.
Arizona State is also 4-0. It is averaging 95 points per game and each of their four wins have been by at least 20 points. K-State has also won all its games by more than 20 points.
The Wildcats and Sun Devils will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The game can be seen on FS1, or listened to on the K-State Sports Network.