MANHATTAN, Kan. – Seniors Makol Mawien and Xavier Sneed combined for 26 points and 18 rebounds, as Kansas State overcame a 3-point barrage by Washburn, 66-56, in the team’s final exhibition game on Wednesday night before 7,239 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
With the win, K-State extends its winning streak in exhibition play at Bramlage Coliseum to 26 games, which dates to the second exhibition game of the 2003-04 season on November 15, 2003. The Wildcats are now a perfect 16-0 at home in exhibition play under head coach Bruce Weber, who is entering his eighth season in 2019-20.
Mawien led the Wildcats with team-high 16 points on 6-of-11 field goals and a perfect 4-for-4 effort from the free throw line, while Sneed collected a solid stat line with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in nearly 36 minutes. Freshman Montavious Murphy also notched double figures with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The streak stood a solid challenge from a Washburn team that has won 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons, including 24 wins and a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament a season ago. The Ichabods return nine lettermen, including two starters, and were picked to finish third in the preseason MIAA poll.
Washburn tied an opponent exhibition high with 14 made 3-point field goals, matching the previous highs of the NBC Thunder on November 11, 1999 and the EA Sports All-Stars on November 7, 2002. The team’s 45 attempts were the most-ever by an opponent in a home exhibition, surpassing the 40 by the NBC Thunder in 1999.
With the score knotted at 39-all with 13:46 to play, the Wildcats put together a key 9-0 run over a more than 3-minute span to take control of the contest, which they built into a game-high 15-point lead (64-49) with 3:38 to play. The Ichabods could get no closer than 8 points the rest of the way.
K-State connected on 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the field, but just 15.4 percent (2-of-13) from 3-point range, and made just 18 of 30 attempts (60 percent) from the free throw line. In addition, the squad turned it over 21 times, which Washburn converted into 23 points. Despite the hot shooting, the Ichabods were just 29.4 percent (20-of-68) from the field, including 31.1 percent (14-of-45) from 3-point range.
Washburn had three players in double figures, including a game-high 17 points from senior Keven Biggs, who finished 6-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Sophomore Jalen Lewis scored 13 points on 5-of-13 field goals, while junior Tyler Geiman added 12 points, all on makes from long range.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Turnovers and poor shooting plagued both teams in the early going, as Washburn led just 10-9 nearly halfway through the first half. The Wildcats had just 6 field goal attempts and 9 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game, while the Ichabods connected on 5 of their first 17 field goal attempts with 3 turnovers.
Both offenses seemed to get back on track after the second media timeout of the first half, as the teams traded buckets over the next few minutes, as a pair of 3-pointers by the Ichabods gave them an 18-15 lead with 8:36 before halftime. However, the Wildcats responded with a 10-3 run over the next five minutes to take a 25-21 at the 3:25 mark, as back-to-back jumpers by senior Makol Mawien keyed the spurt.
Washburn got hot from beyond the arc in the waning minutes of the half, as three triples, including one at the halftime buzzer by senior transfer Keven Biggs, cut the deficit to 32-30 at the break.
K-State connected on 50 percent (11-of-22) from the field, but just 20 percent (2-of-10) from 3-point range, in the first half, while turning the ball over 11 times. Washburn hit on just 33.3 percent (11-of-33) of its field goals, but 8 of those 11 came from 3-point range on 24 attempts.
Mawien led the Wildcats with 10 points on 4-of-5 field goals to go with 4 rebounds in the first half, while freshman Montavious Murphy added 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting. Biggs paced the Ichabods with a game-high 11 points on 4-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
Much like the first half, the two teams traded shots in the early moments of the second half, as a 3-pointer by Tyler Geiman gave Washburn a 36-35 lead heading into the first media timeout at the 15:59 mark. A pair of free throws by Mawien and a jumper by freshman DaJuan Gordon helped K-State regain the lead, but yet another Geiman trey tied the game at 39-all with 13:46 to play.
A lay-up by freshman Antonio Gordon ignited a 9-0 run by the Wildcats over the next 3 minutes, which extended the advantage to 48-39 with 10:18 left. During this key run, junior Levi Stockard III added 4 points on a pair of jumpers, while fellow junior Cartier Diarra ended a long drought with a long 3-pointer in which he was fouled.
The Ichabods closed to within 50-45 on another Biggs’ 3-pointer at the 9-minute mark before an 8-0 run by the Wildcats pushed back out to double figures at 58-45 with 6:22 remaining. During the 8-0 spurt, Sneed and Murphy made 3 consecutive free throws sandwiched between a Mawien jumper.
The lead stood at 15 (64-49) after a Murphy layup before Washburn scored 7 of the game’s final 9 points in the final 66-56 decision.
Sneed scored 8 of his 10 points in the second half, while Diarra had 7 of his 8 points after halftime. The Wildcats connected on 41.4 percent (12-of-29), including 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from 3-point range, in the second half.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Xavier Sneed was impressive across the board despite an off-night shooting the ball (2-of-7), as he posted 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in nearly 36 minutes.
Senior Makol Mawien led all Wildcats with 16 points on 6-of-11 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws and narrowly missed a double-double with 9 rebounds.
STAT OF THE GAME
14/45 – Washburn tied an opponent exhibition-high with 14 3-point field goals on 45 attempts… The 14 makes tied two others for the most by an opponent in a home exhibition, while the 45 attempts surpassed the previous high of 40 by the NBC Thunder on November 11, 1999.