After a short trip to “Paradise,” No. 12 Kansas State returned to the Heartland to defeat Lehigh 77-58 Saturday at Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats (6-0) beat three teams in four days, including Missouri in the championship game on Monday, to win the Paradise Jam tournament in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. On Saturday, Kansas State pulled away from the Mountain Hawks (4-2) with a strong second half.
Dean Wade keyed a Kansas State spurt to start the second half, becoming the first player in double figures with six points before the first media timeout. The Wildcats outscored the Mountain Hawks 8-2 at the start of the half to open an eight-point lead. Their largest lead of the game was 22 points thanks to a late 8-0 run.
The key for K-State was on the defense, especially in the second half. It held the Mountain Hawks to just 28 percent shooting after intermission.
K-State was led by Wade with 18 points. Barry Brown Jr. added 16, with Kamau Stokes and Makol Mawien chipping in 10 points each.
Lehigh was led by James Karnik with 15 points. Pat Andree added 12 points, and Jordan Cohen had 11.
Lehigh was able to stay in the game in the first half, mainly because of its defense. It held Wade, K-State’s leading scorer, scoreless until the 2:41 mark of the half when he hit a couple of free throws. Wade finished the half with four points, and the score was 37-35 Kansas State.
Lehigh shot 54 percent from the field in the first half, including 40 percent from long range. The Mountain Hawks were led by Karnik with nine points, Cohen with eight and Andree with six.
Kansas State shut out Lehigh’s leading scorer, Kyle Leufroy, who was averaging 16.2 points per game, over the first 20 minutes. The Wildcats also forced 10 first-half turnovers. But they couldn’t really take advantage as they struggled from the field, connecting on just 41 percent of their shots. They hit just 3 of 10 attempts from 3-point range.
The Wildcats were led by Brown with nine points. Xavier Sneed and Stokes each had six points at the half.
—Field Level Media