Kansas State put away George Washington 69-56 behind double-doubles from Thomas Gipson and Jamar Samuels. Neither team's coach, however, seemed pleased after the game.
George Washington coach Mike Lonergan said his team's performance disappointed him.
"We came out ready to play in the first half, and unfortunately our horrendous free throw shooting kept us from having a lead at the half," he said, "and then in the second half, a lot of open threes we missed. Give credit to Kansas State - they're a very good defensive team."
Kansas State coach Frank Martin agreed about the defense, but the lack of movement on offense had him yelling and gesturing in frustration throughout the game.
"Right now I'm worried because we're playing selfishly on offense, and that cannot happen," he said.
Gipson had 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Samuels added 10 and 10. Jordan Henriquez contributed 6 points and 11 rebounds.
"Gipson just was a man amongst boys out there tonight and dominated the game," Lonergan said, "and Samuels had a great second half, so they killed us inside."
For the Colonials, Tony Taylor had 14 points. No one else scored in double figures for George Washington.
The Colonials stayed close early on the strength of their three-point shooting, a category in which it led the nation coming into the game. The team converted on 4 of 8 from beyond the arc in the first half while the Wildcats hit on only 1 of 10 from there.
Kansas State pulled away some on an 8-0 sparked by an Henriquez basket, but then the Colonials skirted away on their own 7-0 streak. They took the lead 28-26 before a 3-pointer by Martavious Irving - his team's first of the game - put the Wildcats back in front 28-26 with 4:22 to go in the first half.
At halftime, the Wildcats led 32-29. The size of Gipson, Samuels and Henriquez proved problematic for the Colonials as the trio amassed 19 points and 18 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. By the game's end, Kansas State had 25 second chance points, while the Colonials got just 8.
After four minutes of back-and-forth scoring, Kansas State's Shane Southwell hit a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up 42-37. Two charges taken by Wildcats and a technical foul on the George Washington bench later, point guard Will Spradling went off for 9 straight points in a 15-1 run by his team.
"We were running offense, and that opened up a lot of shots, opened up a lot of lanes," Spradling said. "We were making the second pass, which we weren't doing in the first half."
The teams traded baskets for a while again as players battled in the post. Ultimately, the paint belonged to the Wildcats, especially Gipson. The game slowed as it progressed and included lots of foul shooting toward the end.
"We decided to do what we practiced, built a lead, and then reverted right back to playing how we did the whole first half - just everyone be selfish and no one run what we practice," Martin said.
The Wildcats travel to play Virginia Tech on Sunday. It will be the team's first road test of the season. Martin said he would like to have had one more game on the schedule at this point just because the team is young and needs the practice.
"We've got to learn how to play offense the way we play defense, which is unselfish and disciplined," Martin said. "The way we played today is totally unacceptable."
*This story is also posted on my blog, fabuloussportsbabe.wordpress.com.*