March 29, 2023

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Okay-State fights off Abilene Christian

Senior guard Markquis Nowell drives to the basket in opposition to Abilene Christian on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Nowell completed the night time with 15 factors and 12 assists within the 81-64 Okay-State victory, bringing their document to 8-1 and rating them second total within the Huge 12. (Reece Bachta | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State strikes to 8-1 on the season with a 81-64 come-from-behind victory over Abilene Christian.

Okay-State fell behind rapidly, down 23-10 on the 12-minute mark within the first half. Their struggles have been most pronounced on the defensive entrance as Abilene Christian shot an astounding 75% (6-8) from past the arc. 

However as soon as once more – when his workforce wanted him most – senior guard Markquis Nowell stepped up. He gave the Wildcats a lot wanted momentum with a fast jumper adopted by a steal and offensive rebound that he dished to ahead David N’Guessan for 3 factors. Abilene Christian had no reply for guarding N’Guessan, who set a career-high with 16 factors earlier than the break. 

Okay-State ended the half on a 21-6 run that gave them a 35-34 benefit. 

“They [ACU] made six threes within the first half and we held them to at least one three the final 28 minutes,” head coach Jerome Tang mentioned after the sport. “That was the adjustment that the workers made so credit score my workers, completely love these guys.”

The second half noticed many parallels to the tip of the primary half as Okay-State tightened up on protection and created stops.

“They have been driving us baseline to drive a rotation…we simply mentioned we’re going to protect it one on one … in the event that they end on the rim that’s okay as a result of that’s not what they wished to do,” Tang mentioned. “That allowed us to be slightly faster on our rotations and be there on the catch.”

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Offensively, all people who noticed the ground was capable of get entangled due to Nowell’s playmaking capacity.

“Their [ACU] protection was geared to cease Keyontae [Johnson] so wherever he was, nobody was leaving there … anyone else goes to be open and it’s as much as our guards to make the precise learn,” Tang mentioned. 

Okay-State by no means fully ran away with the sport however stored a cushty lead over their fellow Wildcats. Simply earlier than the eight-minute mark, Nowell – with the assistance of the backboard – linked with Johnson for one more flashy dunk. Okay-State led 64-51. 

Little modified over the ultimate eight minutes en path to the Okay-State victory. 

Nowell recorded 15 factors and 12 assists, his second double-double on the season. 

N’Guessan moved his profession excessive to 26 factors, capturing an ideal 9-9 on discipline objectives. 

“He [N’Guessan] is a competitor. He’s fierce. He does all of the little issues to assist this workforce win and that’s why on nights like this he will get rewarded,” Nowell mentioned after the sport. “Any alternative that we now have to get him the ball…we strive to try this as a lot as attainable.”

Up subsequent for the Okay-State Wildcats is Incarnate Phrase at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, at Bramlage Coliseum.