Although the final scoreline suggests otherwise, the Wildcats were slow out of the gate. Oklahoma reeled off the first nine points of the game, but Kansas State fought back (Associated Press, via ESPN). After the game, Lon Kruger said:
We got beat by a club that out-fought us, They were more energetic to loose balls and more active and I thought all night long they were a little quicker.
For his part, Bruce Weber got what he asked for out of Justin Edwards and Dean Wade, and benching the players had the desired effect. Edwards had 11 points on the evening, but Wade was the chief instigator. There is maybe only one word to describe Wade's play last night: money (Bob Lutz, Wichita Eagle). He made his presence felt immediately, hitting from beyond the arc, and scoring 17 points to key the Wildcats' victory.
The undoubted star of the night, however, was Wesley Iwundu. Not only did he have 22 points off 7-of-11 shooting, but he covered Buddy Hield like a blanket, leaving the nation's leading scorer with a 7-of-16 scoreline, most of his 23 points coming after the Wildcats had the game well in hand (Kellis Robinett, Eagle).
This was Kansas State's first win over a ranked team this season in nine tries, and for beleaguered Bruce Weber, it was a welcome shot in the arm. He complimented the team on playing at a high level, and more importantly, playing with "emotion, fight, competitive spirit, some fire in the belly" (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
After the momentous victory, Weber and the players gathered mid-court perhaps expecting a court storming. But it was not to be, and ultimately, the players took the party to the stands.
Lost in the euphoria of the win over Oklahoma was news that the women's basketball team was thoroughly trounced by West Virginia 64-44. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 7-1.
The Wildcats shot just 27.6% from the field, the lowest output of the season. Kindred Wesemann lead the team with 14 points and went 4-of-13 from beyond the arc and Breanna Lewis was excellent off the boards, marking her 53rd game with five or more rebounds.
Up next, the Wildcats return to Manhattan to take on Oklahoma on Tuesday at 7 PM.
At the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, eight Kansas State athletes set new personal best marks, including a new school record mark, and the team had two first place finishes.
Akela Jones took first in the 60m hurdles event, clocking a school record time of 8.05 seconds. That's also good for the second-best mark in the NCAA for the season.The 4x400 relay team of A'Keyla Mitchell, Sonia Gaskin and Tia Gamble also took first place with a time of 3:35:91, good enough for ninth place in the NCAA this season. Gamble also took second in the 600m race, while Gaskin was third in the 800m race.
For the men, Kain Ellis finished second in the 800m event, while freshman Nick Albus set a new personal best mark, earning a seventh place finish in the 200m race.
Up next, the team splits up to head to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Tyson Invitational at the University of Arkansas, while some athletes head to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Classic.