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Basketball wins; football takes on West Virginia

A quick look at a busy weekend of Wildcat sports.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball

We’ll get to the football game in a minute, but first things first: basketball season is go!

Kansas State beat the feathers off the American University Eagles 83-45, and it wasn’t even that close. Dean Wade was top Wildcat, leading the team with 17 points, but four of his teammates joined him in double figures: Cartier Diarra (13), Makol Mawien (12), Kamau Stokes (10), and Barry Brown (10).

Mawien, a transfer from New Mexico Junior College, emerged from a pack of players—including Mawdo Sallah, Levi Stockard, and Nigel Shadd—who could be potential contributors this season. He was just one rebound short of a double-double last night, and came on strong after some early tentative play.

This was a good win, a fun game. But excitement should be tempered. American was 8-22 last year and is probably one of the weakest teams on the schedule.

The women’s basketball team is celebrating the 50th season of women’s college basketball, and the team is picking up right where it left off last season. Kansas State beat Stephen F Austin 74-49 for the program’s eighth straight home opener win, and the Wildcats have won 24 of the last 26.

Kaylee Page was the star of the day for the Wildcats. She had 18 points off 7-of-13 shooting, including four shots from beyond the arc. That was to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Teammates Kayla Goth (11) and Rachel Ranke (10) joined Page in double figures for the night. Goth added five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block, while Ranke, in just her first collegiate game ever, had seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three steals.

Football

Kansas State plays West Virginia today in Manhattan. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 PM. Jon Morse has all your game details in the HOW TO WATCH post.

TB kicked the tires on the ‘Eers, concluding the Wildcats would win a close contest. Meanwhile, AMS dished out a bit of trash talk for our West Virginia brethren.

It’s just another day in the Big 12, so naturally, the Kansas State secondary is facing a tough challenge from a strong team with a pass-oriented offense. This time, it’s Will Grier’s turn. He’s averaging 340.9 yards a game through the air, and that should concern the Wildcats’ defense, and especially on third down. Last week, Kansas State allowed Texas Tech to convert 11 times on the crucial down, and in fact, the Wildcats are last in the category in the Big 12.

The defense will also have to keep an eye on West Virginia receiver David Sills who currently leads the FBS in touchdown receptions (16). Of note: Sills was recruited as a quarterback by USC when he was all of 13 years old. Also, “[h]e thinks he’s the baddest dude on the field,” as per Dana Holgorsen.

Nevertheless, the Texas Tech game was a turning point for Kansas State, and with the momentum from a big win, the Wildcats could beat West Virginia to become bowl eligible today.

On Veteran’s Day, this SE feature takes a look at Kansas State Athletics’ special relationship with the military and with Fort Riley. The school was recently honored with the Armed Forces Merit Award by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Sean Snyder was recently named a candidate for the 2017 Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coaches in college football. Snyder, previously the national special teams coordinator of the year (2015), is among 56 candidates nominated for the award.

Go Cats! Beat the ‘Eers!!

Volleyball

The VolleyCats are also in action tonight, as they take on TCU at Ahearn Field House. First serve is set for 7 PM.

Kansas State is currently tied for eighth in the Big 12 with TCU. The VolleyCats lost a series to the Horned Frogs earlier this season, but are 5-0 in Manhattan all-time against TCU.

This is part of a Wildcat Weekend package and tickets are only $3, so show up and support the VolleyCats!