Late surge blows open nail-biter in Wild­cats’ opener

The Kansas City Star - - College Basketball - BY KELLIS ROBINETT krobi­nett@wi­chi­taea­

Makol Maw­ien made a layup and flexed his mus­cles. Kansas State led Ken­ne­saw State by dou­ble dig­its and the home crowd roared in ap­proval on Fri­day at Bram­lage Coli­seum.

Things were go­ing as ex­pected for the Wild­cats in their first bas­ket­ball game of the sea­son … fi­nally.

Though they went on to beat the Owls 56-41, this con­test was too close for com­fort un­til the fi­nal min­utes.

Ken­ne­saw State led at var­i­ous times through­out the first half and stayed within sin­gle dig­its un­til K-State found sep­a­ra­tion with a 6-0 run, capped by Maw­ien’s layup, with 7 min­utes, 30 sec­onds re­main­ing.

The No. 12 Wild­cats seized con­trol from there, but it was far from a smooth de­but for a team ex­pected to do so much this sea­son.

Dean Wade and Barry Brown helped K-State over­come a poor shoot­ing night that saw the Wild­cats make just 25 of 60 shots from the field and 1 of 13 from three-point range. K-State also strug­gled from be­yond the arc in its lone ex­hi­bi­tion vic­tory. Per­haps that is a big­ger con­cern than orig­i­nally thought.

K-State scored most of its points near the rim in this one.

Wade had 15 points and eight re­bounds. His high­lights in­cluded a break­away dunk in the sec­ond half that helped squash any Ken­ne­saw State hope for an up­set. Brown fin­ished with 15 points, six re­bounds and three as­sists. He had two im­pres­sive dunks and some ac­ro­batic layups.

Maw­ien was the only other K-State player to reach dou­ble fig­ures, fin­ish­ing with 13 points and seven re­bounds.

The Owls chal­lenged the Wild­cats early by mak­ing open jump shots, in­clud­ing two three-point­ers that went in af­ter hit­ting the back­board. But their touch didn’t last all night. Once they started miss­ing, the Wild­cats took con­trol.

Ken­ne­saw State made

BO RADER The Wi­chita Ea­gle

Kansas State for­ward Dean Wade bat­tled for con­trol of the ball with Ken­ne­saw State guard Tyler Hooker dur­ing Fri­day night’s game in Man­hat­tan, Kan.

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