Dean Wade set a new career high with 25 points and Kansas State held off upset-minded Oral Roberts, 77-68, Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
It was a rather sluggish and uninspired effort by the Wildcats in their first action since last weekend’s Las Vegas Invitational, but Wade prevented it from affecting K-State in the win-loss column.
“He gave us a special effort and made the big plays when we needed them,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said.
K-State (6-1) used an 11-0 run in the first half to build a double-digit lead, holding ORU without a point for more than five minutes during that stretch.
The Wildcats were a little too reliant on the long ball, attempting 20 three-pointers in the first half and 26 for the game, finishing 8 of 26.
During cold stretches, the Golden Eagles (1-7) were able to fight their way back to within striking distance. K-State’s lead was down to five at one point in the second half.
“We just weren’t there and weren’t in sync,” Weber said. “We just weren’t mentally engaged like we needed to be.
“We have to be better, obviously. We’ve been pretty good, up to this point, at being ready to play. But we took a step back tonight.”
Wade led K-State’s final run by scoring six points in one minute, pushing the lead back to double figures.
In addition to Wade’s 23 points and 11 rebounds, Kamau Stokes contributed 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for K-State.
ORU’s Sam Kearns scored 21 points to pace the Golden Eagles, who did much of their damage at the free throw line (21 of 26).
The Wildcats return to action this Sunday with their first true road trip of the season. K-State faces Vanderbilt in Knoxville, Tenn.