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Kansas State grinds out win against hot shooting Washburn

It wasn’t pretty, but it ended in a victory and no one got hurt.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 22 Div I Men’s Championship - First Round - UC Irvine v Kansas State Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kansas State’s shooting matched the frigid temperature in Manhattan, in a 66 to 56 win over Washburn. The Ichabods hot early outside shooting, coupled with the Wildcat’s 11 first half turnovers, and Cartier Diarra foul trouble led to a scant 2 point lead at the half-time break.

K-State and Washburn traded leads in the second half until the Wildcats used a 9-0 run, including a Diarra 4 point play, to pull away. The Ichabods, however, refused to go gently into the snowy night, and would not be blown out. Washburn’s Kevin Biggs, in particular, did his part in keeping the score close, leading the game in scoring with 17.

The overall story of the game was K-State’s turnovers and poor shooting. The team didn’t look dialed in for most of the game, and couldn’t help but turn the ball over on seemingly every other trip down the court. Outside shooting, a question going into the year, remained unanswered, as the Wildcats were ice cold from outside the new, extended 3 point line. They managed to only shoot 2/13 for the night.

The bright spots for Bruce Weber’s crew included the play of Makol Mawien and the contributions of the freshmen. Mawien led K-State in scoring with 16 points and also led the team in rebounding with 9. He was efficient in the paint and even flashed a soft mid-range game. His skill level looks significantly better than last year at this point. The freshman trio of Montavious Murphy, Antonio Gordon, and DaJuan Gordon also impressed, with Murphy second on the team in scoring with 11, and the Gordons both chipping in 6 points. It appears that 2018 recruiting class is going to contribute sooner rather than later.

Overall, it was a sloppy game on a cold night against a motivated and awkward opponent. It wasn’t great, but it’s over, the new guys got some good run, and no one was injured.

That’s not terrible for an exhibition game.

Next Up

K-State vs North Dakota State, Tuesday, November 5th, Bramlage Coliseum - 7 P.M.

The Wildcats open the regular season, non-conference slate against North Dakota State next Tuesday. The Bison made the NCAA tournament last year, and should be a good early test for Bruce Weber’s refurbished squad.