The Kansas State men’s basketball team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday to play Vanderbilt, where the Wildcats won 84-79 and improved their record to 7-1 this season.
The Wildcats led the Commodores 43-30 at halftime. Aggressive shooting led to the Wildcats making 62 percent of their field goals. K-State also improved at the free throw line, going a perfect 8–8 from the line in the first half.
The Commodores shot just 33 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free throw line. K-State out-rebounded Vanderbilt 14-12 overall and 11-7 on the defensive end.
K-State had three starters in double figures. Sophomore forward Xavier Sneed led the Wildcats with 21 points. Junior guards Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown Jr. scored 20 points and 18 points, respectively.
Vanderbilt’s leading scorer was senior Jeff Roberson, who scored 22 points. Freshman Saben Lee added 19 points to the Commodores’ total, and the third leading scorer was junior Joe Toye with 11 points.
This game started out going back and forth, and it went down to the wire toward the end. K-State showed that it can get to the free throw line and make knock down shots when it counts. The Wildcats shot a season-high 91.7 percent from the free throw line. When a game is close, winning it typically means making your free throws.
Vanderbilt came back from a 13-point halftime deficit to tie it up at 71-71 with three minutes left in the game. A big part of this came from giving up 16-second-chance points and not defending in the paint. The Commodores gave up 26 points in the paint.
K-State did things well today, but there are still areas that need to be addressed. If they keep going on the up-and-up at the line, that will help in close games. On the defensive side, the Wildcats have to limit turnovers like they did today, only turning it over seven times. If they expect to win Big 12 games, they are going to have to limit the rebounds they give up.