MANHATTAN, Kansas – Cartier Diarra led all scorers with a career-high 23 points and helped K-State shoot out of a halftime deficit in a hard-fought, season-opening victory over North Dakota State, 66-52, at Bramlage Coliseum Tuesday night.
K-State trailed by one at the break, 22-21, despite holding North Dakota State to 28 percent (7-of-25) from the field. The Wildcats made just one of 12 attempts (8.3 percent) from beyond the 3-point line in the game’s first 20 minutes, but caught fire in the second half, by draining 5-of-9 after the break.
The Wildcats used back-to-back triples to push the lead to eight at the 11-minute mark, then hit another to go up by 11 just before the eight-minute media timeout. North Dakota State pulled within seven, but couldn’t get any closer as K-State held on to win the 16th of its last 17 home openers, including a 7-1 mark under head coach Bruce Weber.
Diarra led the Wildcats with eight points at the break, and scored 15 in the game’s final 20 minutes to top his previous career-best point total of 18 at Kansas last season.
Makol Mawien scored 15 points and notched a double-double – the third of his career – with a game-high 10 rebounds.
North Dakota State was led in scoring by Rocky Kreuser (14) and Tyson Ward (12). Sam Griesel was the Bison’s leading rebounder with nine.