MANHATTAN, Kan. – Sophomore Xavier Sneed paced four Wildcats in double figures with a career-best 23 points, as Kansas State connected on a season-best 62.5 percent from the field in an 89-71 win over SE Missouri State on Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
Sneed, who posted his second 20-point game in his last four outing, was joined in double figures by juniors Dean Wade (19) and Kamau Stokes (12) and sophomore Makol Mawien (11), as the Wildcats posted season-highs for field goals made (35), assists (25), points in the paint (44) and dunks (7).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Bramlage Coliseum was rocking early, as the Wildcats sprung out to an early lead behind several big plays. In the opening minutes, Stokes led a Wildcats’ fast break that was lobbed to Sneed who threw down the alley-oop.
Minutes later, Sneed received a pass in the corner of the court, where he connected on a 3-pointer and was subsequently fouled on the shot, converting on a four-point play. Sneed led K-State to an early 16-6 lead at the 15:45 mark with 8 early points.
Defensively, the early run came in light of an opportune defense, as junior guard Barry Brown cut off the Redhawk passes throughout the game, including 3 steals in the first half.
Coming off the bench, junior guard Amaad Wainright made an immediate impact offensively, recording 3 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in the first half. Wainright’s efforts on the boards helped K-State out-rebound SE Missouri State 14-5 in the first half.
Late in the first half, Stokes took over the scoring for K-State, scoring 5 consecutive points behind the strength of the pull-up 3-pointer and drive to the basket. Stokes tallied 7 points at the half, while Wade led the team with 13 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.
Collectively, K-State shook off a tough shooting performance from a week ago against Tulsa, as the team bounced back with an impressive 68.8 percent (22-of-32) from the floor, and 60 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-10) to jump out to a 53-39 lead in the first half.
Out of the break, Sneed started the Wildcat scoring with 7 consecutive points, including a trey from the top of the arc to get the team rolling.
At the 15:29 mark, Mawien collected a pass from Stokes on a K-State fast-break and threw it down over a Redhawk defender that excited the crowd. The slam was a theme throughout the game for the Wildcats, as they attacked the rim dunking 7 times on 7 attempts. Mawien scored in double figures for the second time on 5-of-6 shooting.
The Wildcats opened up their largest lead of the game in the second half with 7:55 remaining, as the team led by 25 following a Sneed 3-pointer. K-State would hold their advantage throughout the remainder of the game, winning for the 22nd consecutive time at Bramlage Coliseum in non-conference play.
Redhawk sophomore Denzel Mahoney led SE Missouri State in scoring, tallying 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting. As a team, the Redhawks shot 44 percent (25-of-57) from the field.
As a team, the Wildcats connected on 62.52 percent (35-of-56) from the field and 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from beyond the arc, including a season-high 25 assists as a team. K-State also doubled SE Missouri State in rebounds, grabbing a total of 37 rebounds to the Redhawks’ 19.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Xavier Sneed – Coming off a complete performance against Tulsa, where he recorded a team-high in five statistical categories, sophomore Xavier Sneed continued his fine play by recording a team-high 23 points on 9-of-10 from the field, while also grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing 2 assists. Sneed’s 23 points marks a new career-high, and the second time this season he has tallied 20 or more this season.
STAT OF THE GAME
25 – K-State tallied a season-high in assists on Saturday night, dishing out 25 en route to an 89-71 victory. Junior Kamau Stokes set a career-high in assists, recording 9 in the game, while Brown also posted a career-best 7 assists and Wainright tallied 3.