WICHITA, Kan. – Kansas State junior Markquis Nowell scored 5 of his team-high 16 points in a late 7-0 run, including a dagger of a 3-pointer with 1:35 to play, that helped lift the Wildcats to a 65-59 win over in-state rival Wichita State on Sunday afternoon before 14,488 fans at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Nowell, who had come off the bench in the first 6 games, drew his first start of the season after starting point guard Nijel Pack was ruled out after going down with an injury in practice on Saturday. Nowell kept the Wildcats (5-2) in the contest with both his scoring and decision-making, as led the way in points (16), rebounds (8) and assists (4) while playing a team-high 35 minutes. He also was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
The first meeting between the two schools since 2003 did not disappoint, as the near sold-out crowd saw Wichita State (6-2) jump out to an early 20-8 lead before K-State rallied to take the lead right before halftime on a 17-4 run. However, the Shockers seized the momentum early in the second half by scoring 14 of the first 19 points before the Wildcats rallied yet again with 9 straight points to take a 46-44 with 7:35 remaining.
All told, the teams battled through 9 lead changes and 9 ties, including 54-all, after freshman Ricky Council IV knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:02 to play. Nowell responded with a 3-pointer of his own with 1:35 to play to key the 7-0 run by K-State, as he followed with a pair of free throws before a steal and dunk by fifth-year senior Mark Smith gave the Wildcats a 61-54 lead with 48 seconds to play.
The Shockers, who are accustomed to playing close games with all 6 games decided by single digits, closed to with 62-58 on basket by sophomore Tyson Etienne with 27 seconds, but Nowell and senior Mike McGuirl finished off the game by going a combined 3-of-4 from the free throw line.
Etienne, who was averaging 16.3 points per game, was held to 11 points on 4-of-20 field goals, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range. Junior forward Morris Udeze, who dominated the paint early with 14 points in the first half, finished with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting with 7 rebounds.
K-State held WSU to its lowest point total of the season, allowing just 59 points on 35.2 percent (19-of-54) shooting, including 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from 3-point range. It marked the fourth time this season that the Wildcats have held an opponent to under 60 points, including the third in a row.
Nowell was joined in double figures by three other Wildcats, including fellow junior Kaosi Ezeagu, who scored 14 points on 5-of-6 field goals and 4-of-7 free throws, to go with 6 rebounds and a steal in a season-high 25 minutes. Sophomore Selton Miguel chipped in 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting with 6 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench, while senior Mike McGuirl added 10 points and team-tying 4 assists in his second straight start. Sophomore Luke Kasubke tied his career-high with 8 points on 3-of-5 field goals, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range.
Offensively, the Wildcats connected on 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field, including 24 percent (6-of-25) from 3-point range, and hit on 17 of 25 attempts (68 percent) from the free throw line. However, they held the advantage in points off turnovers (15-10), points in the paint (28-20), second-chance points (10-3), fast-break points (7-3) and bench points (20-16).
K-State now leads the all-time series, 21-11, including a 7-9 mark in games played in Wichita. It is scheduled to be the first of four games between the schools, which includes matchups in Manhattan in 2022, Kansas City in 2023 and back in Wichita at Koch Arena in 2024.
WSU started fast out of the gate, knocking down its first 4 field goals, including a 3-pointer from sophomore Tyson Etienne, to take an 11-2 lead and force head coach Bruce Weber to call his first timeout at the 17:22 mark. Junior Morris Udeze scored 5 points in the quick start, including a 3-point play.
The Shocker lead grew to 12 points after a 3-pointer from freshman Chaunce Jenkins with 11:24 before halftime.
A basket by sophomore Selton Miguel seemed to ignite the Wildcats, as they slowly chipped away at the lead, using a 17-4 lead to take their first lead at 25-24 on a 3-pointer from sophomore Luke Kasubke at the 4:59 mark. Junior Kaosi Ezeagu scored 7 points in the stretch, including 3 dunks.
After a pair of free throws gave WSU the lead at 26-25, Miguel knocked down 2 free throws and sophomore Markquis Nowell added a 3-pointer that gave K-State its largest lead at 30-26 with 3:34 remaining. The Shockers tied it at 30-all on a Udeze layup and 2 free throws by junior Qua Grant with 54 seconds left but Miguel gave the Wildcats the lead at halftime, 32-30, on a dunk following a steal by sophomore Ish Massoud.
WSU seized the momentum out of halftime, scoring 8 of the first 10 points, to grab a 38-34 lead with 17:15 to play. After Miguel closed it to 38-37 with a 3-pointer, the Shockers scored 6 in a row to push their advantage to 44-37.
The Wildcats responded with 6 straight of their own to close to within 44-43 and force head coach Isaac Brown to call a timeout with 8:31 remaining.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth over the next few minutes before baskets by senior Mike McGuirl and Ezeagu gave K-State a 54-51 lead with 2:25 to play. However, WSU responded with a big 3-pointer from freshman Ricky Council IV with just over 2 minutes remaining.
Nowell responded with the next 5 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:35 to play to break the 54-all tie, followed by a steal and dunk by fifth-year senior Mark Smith, to take control of the game at 61-54 with 48 seconds. WSU closed to within 62-58 with 27 seconds but Nowell and McGuirl went 3-of-4 from the free throw line to close out the game and win 65-59.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Junior Markquis Nowell led the Wildcats in points (16), rebounds (8) and assists (4), while hitting on 4-of-15 from the field, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Junior Kaosi Ezeagu notched his second double-digit scoring game in 3 games with 14 points on 5-of-6 field goals and 4-of-7 free throws to go with 6 rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
7-0 – K-State used a 7-0 run to break open a 54-all tie with 2:02 to play. Junior Markquis Nowell scored 5 of the 7 points in the stretch, including a 3-pointer with 1:35 to play to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“Coach (Isaac Brown) has done a really good job at Wichita State. Not easy situation taking over last year. He’s got those kids to buy in. They really, really play hard. And the thing I admire most is they really know their roles, and they executed them and they’re gonna win a bunch of games this year. When we found out that Nijel (Pack) couldn’t play, I told our guys this is a great opportunity for other guys to step up. We were in an uncomfortable situation obviously, a road game, great environment, great crowd against a good team without our most consistent guy and we had to deal with it. To our guys’ credit, we grinded it out. Luke (Kasubke), first time he made two threes in a game for us in the same game. Big time plays. He made some big ones today and on the lefty layup, he actually looked like a player but that is coming off the bench. We said we needed everybody. Everyone was very productive. It wasn’t perfect. We knew it would be a hard fought game. I said we had to be the best defensive team out there and they’re really good. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the country. We held them and they have the player of the year in that conference, which is a really good player, make him shoot 20 times to get 11 points, so we had some guys step up. We talked about controlling the paint and especially second chance because that’s their number one category on the offensive end, and we win 10-3. We win points in the paint, 28-20. The other part I said we need everyone from the start to the finish. And we finished it, made enough plays so really good win for our guys in a young season and we’ve grown and got better.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- Tonight’s win extends K-State’s winning streak to 3 games, as the Wildcats improve to 5-2 on the year.
- K-State improves to 10-13 all-time in games played in Wichita, including 3-2 in games played at INTRUST Bank Arena… This was the first visit to the arena since 2017.
- K-State now leads the all-time series, 21-11, with the Wildcats extending their winning streak to 3 games in the series… The Wildcats are now 7-9 in games played in Wichita, including 1-0 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
- K-State used a starting lineup of junior Markquis Nowell, senior Mike McGuirl, fifth-year senior Mark Smith, sophomore Ismael (Ish) Massoud and junior Kaosi Ezeagu… This marked the first time using this lineup this season and the third different lineup used this season… Ezeagu, Massoud and Smith have each started the first 7 games… Ezeagu earned a start in his 13th career game at K-State… Massoud now has 15 starts in his college career… Smith now has 87 starts in his college career… Nowell earned his first start at K-State, while he now has 53 in his career.
- Sophomore Nijel Pack did not play due to injury… He has now missed 6 games due to injury in his career, while he has started the other 30 games.
- Three other Wildcats – freshman Maximus Edwards, sophomore Seryee Lewis and junior Carlton Linguard, Jr. – did not play due to injury… Lewis is out for the season, while Edwards is out for an extended time… Linguard continues to be day-to-day.
- K-State scored 65 points on 33.9 percent shooting (21-of-62), including 24 percent (6-of-25) from 3-point range, and connected on 68 percent (17-of-25) from the free throw line.
- The Wildcats had 11 assists on 21 made field goals, including 3 or more by three different players.
- Four players scored in double figures led by Markquis Nowell’s 16 points… At least three players have scored in double figures in all 7 games this season.
- K-State held Wichita State to a season-low 59 points on 35.2 percent (19-of-54) shooting, including just 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from 3-point range.
- K-State is now 97-10 under head coach Bruce Weber when holding an opponent to 60 points or less.
- K-State held a 43-39 edge on the glass, including 11 offensive boards.
- K-State scored 15 points off 14 turnovers by Wichita State.
- K-State held advantages in points off turnovers (15-10), points in the paint (28-20), second-chance points (10-3), fast-break points (7-3) and bench points (20-16).
- K-State led at the half for the fifth time this season, rallying from a 12-point deficit, for a 32-30 advantage at the break… Junior Kaosi Ezeagu led the Wildcats with 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
- Junior Markquis Nowell scored a team-high 16 points on 4-of-15 field goals, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line… It marked the 52nd time he has scored in double figures, including the fifth time in 7 games at K-State… He also added a team-high 8 rebounds and tied for the team lead in assists (4).
- Junior Kaosi Ezeagu posted his second double-digit scoring effort, as he scored 14 points on 5-of-6 field goals and 4-of-7 free throws to go with 6 rebounds and a steal in a season-high 25 minutes… It marked his sixth career double-digit scoring game, including his fourth at K-State.
- Sophomore Selton Miguel posted his fourth double-digit scoring game of the season with 12 points off the bench on 4-of-11 field goals and 3-of-4 free throws to go with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 29 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 11 career games.
- Senior Mike McGuirl scored in double figures for the second time this season with 10 points on 3-of-11 field goals, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 free throws… He also added 4 assists and 2 rebounds in 32 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 32 career games.
- Sophomore Luke Kasubke tied his career-high with 8 points on 3-of-5 field goals, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, in 16 minutes.
K-State returns home on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Marquette (7-2) in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle at Bramlage Coliseum. The game will air nationally on ESPN2 at 8 p.m., CT. This will be the third meeting between the schools since 2018, including the second time in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Battle.
How to follow the ‘Cats: For complete information on K-State men’s basketball, visit www.kstatesports.com and follow the team’s social media channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.