Kansas State overcame a sluggish first half to defeat the pesky North Dakota State Bison 67-54 Tuesday night in the season opener for both squads in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Wildcats outscored the Bison 46-32 in the second half.
Kansas State used a 14-5 run to pull away midway through the second half to lead 52-41 with 8:49 left. The Wildcats gradually built the lead to a game-high 15 points in the game’s final minute.
Kansas State was led by Cartier Diarra with a career-high 23 points. Diarra also established a career high with six assists. Makol Mawien joined Diarra in double figures with 15 points. Mawien also led the Wildcats with 10 rebounds.
North Dakota State was led by Rocky Kreuser with 14 points. Tyson Ward added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bison. Vinnie Shahid was held to eight points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.
The Wildcats had nearly as many points (20) by the under-12 timeout in the second half as they did in the entire first half (21).
Three-point shooting keyed the second-half attack for K-State. The Wildcats hit 5-for-9 from beyond the arc after halftime, and held ND State to 3-for-13.
North Dakota State used an 8-2 run midway through the first half to gain its first lead, which the Bison held for the rest of the half. K-State tried more shots from the outside (10) than inside the arc (nine) in the first 12 minutes of the game, and only hit one of those 10 attempts from 3-point range. K-State was just 1-for-12 in the first half, as opposed to 9-for-18 from inside the arc.
ND State used the long ball to gain an edge, hitting 5 of 17 from beyond the arc in the opening half. They also outrebounded the larger Wildcats 23-17. If they had been able to hit free throws, the Bison may have held a bigger halftime lead than their 22-21 edge at intermission. The Bison were just 3-for-8 from the free-throw line. They finished the half in a scoreless drought of 4:35.
ND State was led by Kreuser (nine points) and Shahid (eight). Kansas State was led by Diarra (eight) and Mawien (seven).
—Field Level Media