Kansas State opened the basketball season in dominant fashion Friday night, routing American University 83-45 at Bramlage Coliseum.
The Wildcats are tasked with replacing a lot of productivity from a year ago, but early returns were positive as K-State received solid contributions from its large host of newcomers.
“There were a lot of positives,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “We had a vision of what we wanted in the game, and they did it. We had good energy.”
It was a veteran, junior forward Dean Wade, who had the best night. He scored 17 points with 15 coming in the first half. He was the best player on the floor.
Wade also logged four rebounds and three assists and spent much of the second half on the bench due to the blowout.
“He’s being more aggressive and playing with more confidence,” Weber said. “I try not to go overboard, but that’s what we need him to do.”
K-State used a 17-0 run in the first half to open a big lead and had a 48-19 advantage at halftime. Sophomore forward Makol Mawien was a bright spot in particular, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds in his first 10 minutes on the floor.
“He’s going to have to play stronger against better competition, but this was his debut and it was positive,” Weber said. “He’s been up and down, but this was a nice confidence-builder for him.”
Mawien finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra scored 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range. In total, 38 points and 24 rebounds were credited to Wildcat newcomers.
The Wildcat defense forced 18 turnovers by the Eagles and only one AU player scored more than eight points in the game.
Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown combined for 20 points and nine assists.
K-State returns to action next Tuesday against UMKC.
K-STATE WOMEN BEAT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN, 74-49
Kaylee Page scored 18 points, Kayla Goth added 11 and Kansas State used a big run in the third quarter to beat Stephen F. Austin 74-49 Friday night.
The Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in the country, but freshmen accounted for 26 points and 14 rebounds as the program opened its 50th season. Ten different Wildcats scored in the game.
K-State led 37-28 at halftime, but outscored the Lady Jacks 21-9 in the third quarter to open up a 20-point lead. The Wildcats also held SFA to just 27 percent shooting for the game and 4-of-23 on three-pointers.
SFA was led by Stevi Parker’s nine points and game-high 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action Monday night against Omaha.