MANHATTAN, Kan. – Sophomore reserve Selton Miguel scored all 10 of his points in a pivotal stretch in the second half to help propel K-State past Florida A&M, 67-57, in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night before 5,296 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
Miguel, who went scoreless in the first half, caught fire at the right moment in the second half for the Wildcats (1-0), which was in a back and forth affair with the Rattlers (0-1). He scored all 10 of his points in a 12-2 run that flipped a one-point deficit (42-43) with 13:28 to play into a 9-point advantage (54-45) with 9:17 remaining. He ignited the pivotal run with a layup that gave K-State the lead for good at 44-43 with 12:49 to play then followed with a jumper for a 5-point lead (48-43) before capping the run with consecutive 3-pointers.
The run enabled the Wildcats to stretch ahead and build as much as a 13-point lead en route to the victory. The Rattlers led by as many as 4 points on multiple occasions in the first half, and after falling behind by 5 (31-26) right before halftime, surged back ahead moments after halftime.
Florida A&M had scored 13 of the first 22 points in the second half before the crucial 12-2 run.
K-State relied on its usually strong defense to earn its 23rd win in the last 25 home openers, holding an opponent below 60 points for the 104th time under head coach Bruce Weber. The Wildcats held the Rattlers to just 41.5 percent (22-of-53) shooting, including 20 percent (3-of-15) from 3-point range, and forced 18 turnovers.
The offense recovered from a subpar start (31 percent shooting in the first half) to connect on 57.1 percent (12-of-21) in the second half. The team was keyed by its depth, getting 22 points from the bench, including 10 from Miguel and 6 points and a game-tying 6 assists from junior Markquis Nowell. Eight of the 10 Wildcats had at least one field goal, while 6 had at least one assist.
Miguel was joined in double figures by fellow sophomore Nijel Pack, who led the team with 18 points on 6-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and fifth-year senior Mark Smith, who collected 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Junior Kaosi Ezeagu had solid stat line with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in just 18 minutes.
The win spoiled an impressive effort by Florida A&M fifth-year senior M.J. Randolph, who led all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-17 field goals to go with 7 rebounds and 6 assists in 39 minutes of action. He was joined in double figures by sophomore Jalen Speer, who had 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
With the win, K-State moved to 92-26 all-time in season openers dating back to 1903, including a 28-3 mark at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats are now 8-2 in season openers under head coach Bruce Weber.
Florida A&M took a 4-point lead at 26-22 after a pair of free throws by Randolph with 6:03 to play in the first half before K-State used a 9-0 run to take a 31-26 advantage right before halftime. Four Wildcats (Smith, Mike McGuirl, Nowell and Pack) all scored in the stretch capped by Pack’s third 3-pointer of the first half.
Facing a 43-42 deficit after a layup by Randolph with 13:28 remaining, the Wildcats rattled of 9 straight points to force a Rattler timeout with just 10 minutes to play. After a basket by Randolph, Miguel punctuated the 12-2 run with a second consecutive 3-pointer for a 54-45 lead with 9:17 to play.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Sophomore Nijel Pack led the Wildcats with 18 points on 6-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. He scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half.
Sophomore Selton Miguel scored all 10 of his points in key stretch in the second half when the team flipped a 1-point deficit (42-43) into a 9-point lead (54-45). He also a team-high 7 points and 1 assist in 23 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
22-7 – K-State held a 22-7 advantage in bench scoring against Florida A&M. Aside from Miguel’s 10 second-half points, junior Markquis Nowell added 6 points and a game-tying 6 assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“It was a tough, hard fought game, and we as coaches expected it. I’m not sure the guys did. This is the same group, most of them played against us three years ago. They’ve been through the wars. They’ve got a good coach that’s been under some really good people, Lon Kruger, Dana Altman. And he makes them execute and those guys execute and obviously they’ve got a really good player in M.J. Randolph. We made some mistakes on the defensive end that allowed him to get a few of those, but he earned a bunch of them. They fought us and to our guys’ credit, I thought we stepped up in the second half. Selton (Miguel), not a great first half, but he really played and gave us a nice lift in the second half. We told our guys every game is different. Our versatility on our bench has got to be a strength. (If you) play well and you’ll stay in the game. If somebody else plays well, they stay in the game and if you look at bench points, 22-7. I’d probably consider that the difference in the game. We still held them to 57. We held them to 41 percent (shooting), 20 percent from three and turned them over 18 times so we did some good things defensively. Obviously, we’ve got to get a little better offensively. We just need to let the game come (to us) then finish the game. Just focus on our mission.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State is now 92-26 all-time in season openers dating back to 1903, including 80-10 at home.
- K-State is now 29-5 in openers at Bramlage Coliseum and 28-3 in season openers… The Wildcats have now won 23 of their last 25 home openers (losses in 2013 and 2020).
- K-State is now 116-13 in non-conference play at home dating back to 2006-07, including 107-11 at Bramlage Coliseum.
- Head coach Bruce Weber is now 21-3 all-time in season openers in his career, including 8-2 at K-State.
- K-State is now 5-0 all-time against Florida A&M, all at home… This marks the second time that the two schools have met in a season opener (2008-09).
- K-State is now 19-1 against teams from the Southwestern Athletic (SWAC), all at home.
- K-State used a starting lineup of fifth-year seniors Mike McGuirl and Mark Smith, sophomore Nijel Pack, sophomore Ismael (Ish Massoud) and junior Kaosi Ezeagu… McGuirl has now started 35 consecutive games dating back to 2019-20… Ezeagu earned a start in his ninth career game at K-State, including his first since Texas A&M (1/30/2021)… It was the first career starts for Massoud and Smith at K-State… Massoud earns a start at his second school (Wake Forest, K-State) and now has 9 in his college career… Smith earns a start at his third school (Illinois, Missouri and K-State) and now has 80 in his college career.
- Two other Wildcats – Logan Landers and Markquis Nowell – saw their first career action.
- Three Wildcats – freshman Maximus Edwards, sophomore Seryee Lewis and junior Carlton Linguard, Jr. – did not play due to injury… Lewis is out for the season.
- K-State scored 67 points on 42 percent shooting (21-of-50), including 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from 3-point range, and connected on 64 percent (16-of-25) from the free throw line… The team rebounded to shoot 57.1 percent (12-of-21) in the second half after hitting on just 31 percent (9-of-29) in the first half.
- K-State had 15 assists on 21 made field goals.
- K-State is now 94-10 under head coach Bruce Weber when holding an opponent to 60 points or less… The Wildcats have now held an opponent under 60 points in 7 of 10 season-openers under Weber.
- K-State scored 19 points off 18 Florida A&M turnovers.
- K-State also posted advantages in bench points (22-7), fast-break points (8-5) and second-chance points (9-6).
- Eight of the 10 players had at least one field goal made, while 6 had at least one assist.
- K-State led 33-30 at halftime despite shooting just 31 percent (9-of-29) from the field compared to 45.8 percent (11-of-24) for Florida A&M… Pack led the Wildcats with 13 points on 4-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
- Sophomore Nijel Pack scored a team-high 18 points on 6-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 31 minutes… He has now led the team in scoring in 12 career games… He has now scored in double figures in 17 career games… He has knocked down at least 3 triples in 13 career games.
- Senior Mark Smith scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range, and made 3-of-6 free throws in a team-high 34 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 41 career games.
- Sophomore Selton Miguel scored 10 points on 4-of-6 field goals, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, to go with 7 rebounds and an assist in 23 minutes off the bench…He has now scored in double figures in 8 career games.
- Junior Kaosi Ezeagu posted 7 points on 1-of-2 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes… He also posted the team’s best +/- rate of 18.
- Junior Markquis Nowell led the team with 6 assists of the bench.
K-State continues its homestand against Omaha (0-0) on Wednesday, November 17 at 7 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets start at just $10. The game will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.