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Big first half allows Kansas State to hold off Gardner-Webb 67-54

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Kamau Stokes and D.J. Johnson lead the charge.

And now, conference play.
And now, conference play.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The clock read 7:02, and Kansas State found itself trailing Gardner-Webb by a point. Then Kamau Stokes went into action. Scoring seven of his 18 points in the final seven minutes of the half, Stokes keyed a 19-1 run which put the Wildcats up 41-24. K-State (11-1) was able to make that stand up in the second half, posting a 67-54 win over the Runnin’ Bulldogs (7-6) at Bramlage in their final non-conference game before Big 12 play begins next weekend.

There were stories to the game. The first was the Wildcat defense. In addition to yet again holding an opponent under 55 points, K-State limited Gardner-Webb — who came in averaging almost 80 points a game — to under 38 percent from the floor.

On the other side of the coin, the K-State offense had its worst performance of the season. The Cats only hit on 43.4% of their shots from the field, marking the first time all season they failed to reach the 50% mark.

Stokes led the Wildcats in scoring, while D.J. Johnson was close behind with 16 points and added seven rebounds. Johnson’s 16 came on 8-of-8 shooting, the first Wildcat to accomplish that feat since Luis Colon went 9-of-9 against Southern Miss in 2008.

Jamaal Robiteau, who drained five threes, led Gardner-Webb with 17.

K-State now takes a long break, getting nine days off before opening conference play at home against Texas on December 30.