Nijel Pack takes down former team, leading No. 12 Miami over Wildcats despite late push from Carter

Guard Cam Carter shoots beyond the arc against No. 12 Miami Hurricanes in K-State's 91-83 loss. Carter and former Wildcat Nijel Pack (seen behind Carter) tied for score leaders at 28. (Photo courtesy of K-State Athletics)

Editor’s note: Changed headline from “Nijel Pack gets his revenge, leads No. 12 Miami over his former Wildcats despite late push from Carter” to “Nijel Pack takes down former team, leading No. 12 Miami over Wildcats despite late push from Carter.” Upon revision, we felt “revenge” may not be the best-suited word.

The Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship game featured a special reunion. Kansas State men’s basketball fell in a 91-83 comeback attempt against No. 12 Miami and former K-State Wildcat guard Nijel Pack.

The matchup of Pack and K-State was the first since his departure in 2022. Pack left the Wildcat pack with the arrival of head coach Jerome Tang. In his two years, the now Hurricane was the man in Bramlage. Pack averaged 12.7 points per game as a freshman, and his sophomore season was even better, averaging 17.4 points per game while knocking down 43.6% of his deep shots.

Guard Nijel Pack during the game against Iowa State on Feb. 26, 2022. Pack entered the transfer portal in March 2022, committing to Miami in April 2022. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

As the two collided south of the United States border, neither K-State or Pack were great to start the first half.

Ten minutes into the game, Miami held a 10-point lead. K-State struggled on all aspects on the floor as Pack only scored two points.

Then he showed off what he used to pull off in Bramlage Coliseum.

Pack began to erupt from the 3-point line, unleashing a flurry of 3’s from corner fadeaways, deep step-backs and catch-and-shoots. The 6-foot guard began an annihilation of his former program.

Pack ended the half with 20 points and six 3-pointers, leading the Hurricanes to a 47-28 lead. The Wildcats struggled where Pack starred, shooting 1-15 from beyond the arc and 40% on the half with nine turnovers. Seven different players scored in the half.

Pack was not alone in the first half hunt. Guard Wooga Poplar was 80% from the field, scoring 10 points. Miami forward Norchad Omier dominated in the paint, scoring 11 points and grabbing four rebounds.

Coming out to start the second half, Miami’s assault continued. 

With 6:32 remaining in the game, the Hurricanes worked against the tide up 75-53. From there on out, the Wildcats, led by Cam Carter, began to fight the overwhelming current.

Carter began a 10-0 run with a layup, scoring seven of the points. 

Down 12, K-State kept themselves in the game the entire time with Carter scoring 12 more points while continuously attacking the basket, including an alley-oop dunk. He finished the half with 24 and the game with 28, tying Pack for the game-high.

The once tall-standing lead sank as low as seven with 45 seconds remaining, but it was not enough. Miami held off K-State, eventually securing the win.

Outside of leading scorers Pack and Carter, Omier ended with 23 points as K-State forward Arthur Kaluma finished with 18.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer on the season, guard Tylor Perry, struggled from the field, shooting 4-13 on the day and 1-9 from the 3. His struggle from deep was a part of K-State’s lackluster 4-28 shooting from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Pack’s 7-12 shooting from deep led Miami to knock down half of its 24 3-point attempts.

Moving to a 3-2 record, the Wildcats return from their Bahamas trip to host Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. Wednesday.