Kansas State used a familiar — but concerning — pattern to win its third straight game, a 73-54 nonconference victory over Monmouth on Wednesday in Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats (3-0) got, and needed, a strong second half, outscoring the Hawks 53-25 in the second half.
Kansas State, which has trailed in all three of its games, produced a 14-1 run to start the second half, grabbing the lead for good. The Wildcats have averaged 19 points in the first half this season and 39 points in the second half.
Kansas State matched its first-half scoring total on a Levi Stockard III layup at the 12:28 mark of the second half. They moved the lead to 55-35 with 6:52 to go.
Kansas State was led by Xavier Sneed with 15 points and Makol Mawien with 11 points. Mawien led the Wildcats with nine rebounds, and junior Cartier Diarra had a career-high seven assists.
Monmouth (1-2) was led by Ray Salnave with 20 points. He shot 7 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and he was the only Hawk in double figures.
Monmouth, which will play at No. 5 Kansas on Friday, will play a total of five road games and two neutral-site games before playing its home opener on Nov. 26 against Radford.
Kansas State started the game playing sloppy ball, amassing five turnovers and five missed 3-point attempts before the second media timeout. Monmouth led by 11-4 at the 12:35 mark before the Wildcats started their first comeback. A 12-2 run gave the hosts their first lead of the game.
However, the Hawks finished the half with their own 11-2 run to grab their largest lead, 29-20, at intermission. Kansas State struggled from outside again. An 0-for-10 effort from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes put their mark to 1-for-30 in their three first halves this season.
Salnave led the Hawks with nine first-half points. No Wildcat scored more than six points before the break.
—Field Level Media