MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State set season-highs in 11 offensive categories, including its highest assist total (29) in more than a decade, as the Wildcats led wire-to-wire in wrapping up a three-game homestand with an 86-41 win over Alabama State at Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night.
K-State (6-3), which connected on a season-low 32.3 percent (20-of-62) in its home loss to Marquette on Saturday, jumped out to a 20-2 advantage en route to a 52-point first half and led by as many as 47 in the second half to Alabama State (1-8), which is in the midst of a 15-game road trip to start the season.
The Wildcats notched season-highs for points (86), field goals made (35), field goal percentage (62.5), 3-point field goals made (12), 3-point field goal percentage (54.5), assists (29), points in the paint (42), points off turnovers (26), bench points (34), first-half points (52) and first-half field goal percentage (71.4).
The 29 assists tied for the fourth-most in school history and were the most by a Wildcat team since dishing out 30 in a win over Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, 2008.
All nine Wildcats who saw action had at least two made field goals on the night, as senior Xavier Sneed led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 25 minutes. Sneed scored 14 of the team’s first 25 points and finished with 16 in the first half.
Freshmen Antonio Gordon and DaJuan Gordon each tallied a season-high 13 points, while juniors Cartier Diarra and Levi Stockard III each added 8 points. Diarra became the first Wildcat with a 10-assist game since Marcus Foster in 2014, as he dished out a career-best 10 assists. Antonio Gordon had the best all-around game of his career with a game-high 8 rebounds to go with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in 28 minutes.
ASU was held to a season-low 41 points on 27.3 percent (15-of-55) shooting, including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from 3-point range, as K-State has now held 93 opponents to 60 points or less in the Weber era with the Wildcats boasting an 84-8 mark in those contests.
Junior Tobi Ewuosho had a near double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds for the Hornets.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State started off quick, jumping out to 10-2 lead behind consecutive 3-pointers from senior Xavier Sneed, to force Alabama State head coach Lewis Jackson to call his first timeout at the 17:07 mark.
The run continued for the Wildcats, as the lead grew to 20-2 after a 3-pointer from freshman Antonio Gordon with 14:21 to play. After the Hornets ended the 16-0 run with a 3-pointer, Sneed answered with his fourth triple of the early going followed by a jumper just inside the arc for a 25-5 advantage at the 12:45 mark.
Sneed was responsible for 14 of the team’s first 25 points, while he assisted on 3 other baskets.
The onslaught continued with consecutive 3-pointers by freshman DaJuan Gordon and junior David Sloan and a jumper by junior Levi Stockard III to force yet another ASU timeout with the lead at 35-8 with 9:04 before halftime. The Hornets didn’t get back-to-back baskets until they cut the deficit to 42-14 at the 4:42 mark.
The Wildcats ended the half on a 10-2 run, as they entered halftime with a 52-16 advantage. The 52 points were the most in a half since scoring 58 in the second half against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 16, 2018.
K-State connected on 71.4 percent (20-of-28) from the field, including 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from 3-point range, while ASU hit on 30.4 percent (7-of-23) of its field goals, including 20 percent (2-of-10) from long range. It was the highest field goal percentage since connecting on 76.2 percent (16-of-21) in the first half at Texas on Feb. 18, 2017.
Sneed led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-8 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while Gordon added 8 points and a game-high 5 rebounds. All nine Wildcats had at least one field goal made in the first half.
K-State scored the first 6 points off the second half to push the lead to 58-16 then took a 65-21 advantage into the first media timeout at the 15:33 mark. The Wildcats cracked the 70-point plateau on a layup by Stockard on a pass by Sloan to extend the lead to 70-24 with 11:55 to play.
The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes before ASU used a 9-4 run to cut the deficit to 78-37 with 4:17 remaining. However, K-State responded with 6 straight points, including steal and dunk by DaJuan Gordon that gave the Wildcats their 80th point, to push the lead back to 84-37 with 1:32 left.
K-State connected on 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field in the second half, as eight of the nine players who registered minutes had at least one field goal made led by DaJuan Gordon’s 7 points. ASU hit on just 25 percent (8-of-32) from the field and were led by Kevin Holston’s 9 points.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Xavier Sneed posted his second 20-point game of the season with 20 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 25 minutes. He has now scored in double figures 7 times in 9 games this season.
Freshman Antonio Gordon had the best game of his young career with a season-high 13 points on 5-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a team-high 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
STAT(S) OF THE GAME
29 – K-State dished out a season-high 29 assists on 35 made field goals in posting season-highs in 11 offensive categories. The 29 assists tied for the fourth-most in school history and were the most by the Wildcats since tallying 30 against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, 2008.