Dean Wade helps lead K-State past Lehigh
The Kansas State men’s basketball team returned to the mainland, back from the Virgin Islands with a Paradise Jam championship trophy.
And the Wildcats returned in style, beating Lehigh 77-58 on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.
It was a tightly contested, slow-paced first half, the Wildcats leading just 37-35 at halftime, but K-State opened things up in the second half for the double-digit victory.
Dean Wade led the way with 18 points for the Wildcats, who improved to 6-0.
Lehigh went on a 7-0 run shortly after the first media timeout, jumping out to a 17-13 lead before K-State guard Kamau Stokes put an end to the run with a three-pointer at the 11:14 mark.
After trailing 31-26 with around five and a half minutes to go, K-State called a timeout, then closed the half on an 11-4 run and had a 37-35 lead at the break. Jordan Cohen was a key player for Lehigh in the first half, as the junior guard scored nine points to go along with five assists.
K-State dominated the offensive boards with seven rebounds in the first half, but only scored four second-chance points.
The Wildcats scored six straight points to start the second half, forcing Lehigh to take a timeout.
Stokes contributed to the run with a strong drive to the rim that resulted in a layup, and later attacked the baseline and found Wade open for a layup.
Energy and emotion is how K-State head coach Bruce Weber described the second half for K-State.
“All our guys had a little more emotion, a little more energy, were a little more aggressive, we got stops,” Weber said.
K-State sophomore guard Mike McGuirl made a threepoint shot at just under the 10-
minute mark which gave the Wildcats a 57-45 lead. K-State never looked back and outscored Lehigh 40-23 in the second half.
In the first half, Wade scored just four points on 1-of-5 shooting.
After the game, Weber spoke about Wade’s firsthalf performance.
“Dean’s gotta be assertive,” Weber added. “He can’t be mild anymore like he was his freshman year. I think he’s gotten a lot better, but he still has times when he’s a little too cautious.”
Wade was more active in the second half, scoring 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He had eight rebounds to go with his game-high 18 points.
Fellow seniors Barry Brown and Stokes joined Wade in the double figure with 16 and 10 points, respectively. Each attacked the basket several times, making layups amidst contact.
“They (Lehigh) gave us driving lanes and we were able to just go in there and finish,” Brown said.
Brown also had four steals in the game, all in the first half, and surpassed 200 career steals at K-State, as well as moved up to ninth place on the school’s all-time scoring list.