It was a night to shine for Freshmen and a night for officials to get good use of their whistles as the Kansas State Men’s Basketball team overcame a slow start to put away Pittsburg State in an exhibition contest with a 75-54 victory Friday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
It was the first chance for Wildcat fans to get a look at some new faces who have joined the squad this year. The most impressive performer so far in preseason practice has been Marcus Foster. Foster ended up with 13 points on the night including a dunk that got the crowd going in a game where it was difficult to generate any consistent rhythm thanks to a total of 61 fouls called by the officiating crew as part of a nationwide effort to “clean up” the College game.
Pittsburg State jumped out to an early 7-3 lead but K-State quickly erased that with a 17-2 run to grab a 20-9 advantage. The Wildcats led 38-22 at halftime and quickly expanded their lead to as large as large as 56-30 midway through the second half. Some sloppy play on the part of the Wildcats allowed the Gorillas to cut their deficit to 14 points at 58-44 with 7:02 to go. However, K-State found its offense once more and was able to cruise to the win.
Another Freshman Nigel Johnson led Kansas State with 15 points while Foster and Nino Williams had 13 apiece and Shane Southwell and Wesley Iwandu had 10 apiece. Devon Branch, the only Pittsburg State player in double figures led all scorers with 30 points.
The games start to count next Friday when K-State will officially open the 2013-14 season against Northern Colorado out of the Big Sky Conference. Tipoff at Bramlage Coliseum is set for 8 p.m. following the Women’s season opener against Tennessee State.
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