Marcus Foster scored 17 points and Shane Southwell added 14 as the Kansas State Wildcats jumped off to a fast start and were never really threatened in a 71-58 victory over Long Beach State on Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State scored the game’s first five points on a dunk by Wesley Iwandu and Southwell’s three-point basket. The Wildcats got balanced scoring as they went on a 13-2 run to lead 22-7 with 8:03 remaining in the first half. From there Kansas State kept the 49ers at bay and went into the locker room with a 39-22 halftime advantage. Foster was a big part of the run as he drained a pair of three-pointers just over a minute apart.
A pair of layups by D.J. Johnson opened the second half scoring and stretched the lead to 43-22. Another trey by Foster gave K-State its largest lead at 49-26 with 16:56 left in the game. From there, Long Beach State drew no closer than 13 points when a 15-5 spurt cut the Wildcat lead to 54-41 with 11:46 remaining.
K-State was able to finish off the game with solid free throw shooting down the stretch and timely baskets. Joining Foster and Southwell in double figures was Oamri Lawrence who had 10 points. Dan Jennings led Long Beach with 14 points while Shawnee Mission Northwest product A.J. Spencer playing his first Collegiate game back in his home state added 13 points. K-State was able to hold the 49ers’ best player Mike Caffey to nine points and force him into five turnovers.
Foster has now scored 42 points in his last two games. That’s the most by a K-State Freshman in back-to-back games since Michael Beasley knocked down 46 points in the 2008 NCAA Tournament against Southern Cal and Wisconsin.
K-State will now play away from Bramlage for the first time this season when they journey to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Tip-off. The Wildcats will take on Charlotte on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CST and then face either Georgetown or Northeastern in their second game of the tournament at Roberto Clemente Coliseo on Friday.
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