ANALYSIS: Wildcats’ team effort overwhelms Monmouth

Junior guard Cartier Diarra charges the basket during K-State’s men’s basketball game against Monmouth in Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 13, 2019. The Cats came out with a win against the Hawks. The final score was 73-54. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Monmouth Hawks came out the gates firing from all ends and pushing the ball in transition in a 73-54 loss to Kansas State. That speed and pressure lead to offensive and defensive breakdowns for the Wildcats.

These breakdowns resulted in the Wildcats shooting 28.6 percent from the field in the first half with eight turnovers.

“I think we came with a good mindset, but it didn’t go easy,” head coach Bruce Weber said.

At the end of the first half, Monmouth held a convincing 29-20 lead over the Cats.

Redshirt sophomore guard Ray Salnave lead the Hawks’ charge with nine points and four rebounds in the first half.

Unselfish play by junior guard Cartier Diarra played a large role in K-State’s comeback victory. Cartier dished out seven assists while pocketing four steals, four rebounds and eight points.

“Their point guard [Diarra] is a really good player. … He never let them panic, I don’t know if he is a big-time scorer, but he kept them calm and ran things,” Monmouth head coach King Rice said.

The K-State bench held their own in this game with all five players contributing with at least a bucket. The bench combined for 29 points, and junior transfer guard David Sloan lead with eight points in 17 minutes of play off the bench.

“If you look at it, our bench had good numbers,” Weber said. “If you look at shots … we have done a good job dominating two’s. We made the right plays, moved the ball and had some transition in the first half.”

Things took off for the Wildcats after the break, and senior forward Xavier Sneed was the man who started it all.

Sneed made a three-pointer at the top of the second half and followed it up with an assist for a dunk from freshman forward Montavious Murphy. Sneed racked up 15 points and six rebounds on the night.

Senior forward Makol Mawien also had a strong night with 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Wildcats will be back in Bramlage Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. to take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Tune in to ESPN+ or KMAN for coverage.