Xavier Sneed made his first five shots, including four three-pointers, to lead Kansas State to an early 25-5 lead, and the Wildcats cruised from there to an easy 45-point victory over the Alabama State Hornets, 85-41, Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.
As a team, K-State made 10 of 15 three-point attempts in the first half, and 12 of 22 for the game. They shared the ball and attacked the rim, as well, tossing 29 assists on 35 field goals, with a number of those passes ending on emphatic dunks, including three by Levi Stockard.
K-State made 35 of 56 shots overall (66.7%) while holding the Hornets to 15-55 (27.3%). Though the Cats were once on pace to score over 120 points, three pointers did not continue falling in abundance, and they ultimately fell short of the century mark.
All nine players to see action scored at least five points for the Wildcats, led by Sneed’s 20. Antonio Gordon and DaJuan Gordon each scored 13, with Cartier Diarra and Stockard falling just short, with 8 apiece. No Alabama State player scored more than nine points.
Diarra continued piling up assists, throwing 10, while only turning the ball over twice. Mike McGuirl had six assists, while Sneed and David Sload dished out four apiece. With 63 assists in nine games (7.0 per game), Diarra is tied for 10th nationally and is second in the Big 12 in assists behind Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, who averages 8.2 per contest.
Though the contest was too big a mismatch to draw any big conclusions about improvement, the guys must be relieved to find open shots and make them on a regular basis, and the coaching staff should be satisfied with the offensive execution and the defensive intensity the team displayed most of the night.
Coach Weber reported after the game that Montavious Murphy, Nigel Shadd and James Love have each practiced at some point this week. He stopped short, however, of projecting when any of the three big guys might be ready to play.