Men’s basketball pulls away in second half, beats UAlbany 71-43

The Kansas State men's basketball team huddles together during the Florida A&M game on Nov. 10, 2021. (Archive photo by Danae Cartright | Collegian Media Group)

After going into halftime leading just 29-20, the Kansas State men’s basketball team (4-2, 0-0) used a big second half to finish the game 71-43 in favor of the Wildcats on Dec. 1, 2021.

K-State used a strong defensive effort to take down the Great Danes, allowing just one three-pointer on 18 attempts and only allowing fifth-year De’Vondre Perry to reach double-figures (11).

“So defense has been … obviously from a year ago there’s no comparison,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “But now we’ve got to see if we can do it against upper-level teams.”

Offensively, two Wildcats recorded double-doubles: super-senior Mark Smith (14 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore Selton Miguel (12 points, 10 rebounds). Sophomore Nijel Pack joined the two in double-digit points with 17, as Pack continues his tear of game-leading scoring. Five of Pack’s field goals were three-pointers.

Miguel was back in action after sitting out this past game because of a groin injury. Sophomore Davion Bradford (4 points), who has spent the early season in and out of games because of lingering side-effects of pneumonia, got back on the floor after missing this past game as well.

“Davion is very important to us,” Pack said. “We’ve got two guys in rotation right now until we get Carlton [Linguard] back. That’s a true five-man. We need Davion to play to back up, Kasoi [Ezeagu] as well. Both of those guys — there’s only two of them, and we can’t get anybody else to play the five. So getting him healthy and getting him back to 100 percent is really important for us.”

Starting for the Wildcats was Pack, Smith, super-senior Mike McGuirl (6 points), junior Kaosi Ezeagu (8 points) and sophomore Ish Massoud (2 points). Through six games, the lineup has been mostly consistent, with the exception of Miguel and McGuirl switching in and out of the starting spot.

Also on the scoreboard were junior Markquis Nowell (6 points) and sophomore Luke Kasubke (2 points).

The men’s basketball team plays against Wichita State on Sunday, Dec. 5, taking on the Shockers for the first time in nearly 20 years (Dec. 10, 2003). The game is at Wichita State and can be watched on ESPNU with a recap on the Collegian after the game.