EditorsNote: Edit 1: Minor fixes throughout
The Kansas State Wildcats led from start to finish in beating the Vanderbilt Commodores 69-58 Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
Makol Mawien led Kansas State (9-2) with 15 points. Barry Brown Jr. and Kamau Stokes scored 12 points each, and Cartier Diarra added 10.
Vanderbilt (7-3) was led by Matt Ryan with 14 points. Joe Toye added 11 and Simisola Shittu had 10.
The Wildcats led by 10 points at the half and came out playing stifling defense after the break, not letting the Commodores hit a shot from the field until the 11:49 mark of the second half, when Austin Trice made a layup. By then Kansas State led 44-25.
The Commodores shot just 33.3 percent in the second half, though they made 20 of 23 free throws, after going just 1 of 4 in the first half.
Just like they did in the first half, the Wildcats scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half to open a 38-22 lead. They led by as many as 22 points in the second half at 49-27 before a 16-2 run by the Commodores cut the lead to just eight points. But they could get no closer.
Kansas State, which fell out of the Top 25 rankings this week, won two games in the meantime. On Wednesday, the Wildcats overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat Southern Mississippi 55-51.
On Saturday, Kansas State led by as many as 14 points in the first half before taking a 30-20 lead to the locker room.
The biggest factor was the Wildcats’ defense. They held Vanderbilt to just 30.8 percent from the field in the half, and they did it while committing just two fouls.
Even without leading scorer and rebounder Dean Wade, who could miss a few months with a foot injury, the Wildcats held their own on the boards, leading 18-17.
The Wildcats didn’t shoot particularly well, connecting on 41.4 percent. But Mawien hit all five of his shots to lead the team with 10 points at intermission.
The Commodores were led by Ryan in the first half, who got all nine of his points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
—Field Level Media