AMES, Iowa (AP) — If junior Dean Wade can shoot anywhere near as well as he did on Friday night, Kansas State just might have a chance in the Big 12 after all.
Wade poured in a career-high 34 points, Kamau Stokes added 23 and Kansas State opened conference play by pounding Iowa State 91-75 for its first win in Ames since 2011.
Barry Brown Jr. had 21 points for the Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 Big 12), who shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range to snap Iowa State’s nine-game winning streak.
It was all keyed by the 6-foot-10 Wade, who was 6 of 8 on 3s and 13 of 16 overall.
“Once you hit one, you feel a little bit more confident in the second one and so on and so forth,” Wade said. “Coaches keep telling me to shoot it…so I was taking their advice and shooting it.”
After a blistering first half that saw K-State jump ahead 53-50, the Wildcats put away the Cyclones (9-3, 0-1) by tightening up their defense — while Iowa State slacked off on that end.
Iowa State missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the second half, and Kansas State — picked just eighth in the preseason league poll — jumped ahead by 12 on a Xavier Sneed 3.
Wade’s 3, his sixth of the night, made it 75-60 with just fewer than 10 minutes to go. He also grabbed eight boards for the Wildcats, who had dropped their previous four meetings against the Cyclones.
“If you’re going to win road games, you have to have someone step up and be special,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said of Wade. “He was in that zone.”
Lindell Wigginton scored 23 points in his Big 12 debut to lead Iowa State, which committed 13 turnovers and shot just 23 percent in the second half after hitting 68 percent of its shots in the opening frame.
“Disappointing, unacceptable performance,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said. “Our youth and inexperienced showed too.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Kansas State: Given how brutal the Big 12 figures to be in 2018, opening with a road win — even against rebuilding Iowa State — is big for the Wildcats. And although Wade likely won’t shoot as well as he did on Friday in the future, having a big man that can stretch defenses should continue to open things up for K-State’s talented backcourt. “Dean is a threat every night, and teams are going to have to key on him,” Brown said.
Iowa State: The Cyclones can’t expect to play defense like they did on Friday night and win much in the Big 12. That’s often an issue for teams relying on as many youngsters as Iowa State is.