MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State opened the Bruce Weber era with a win Tuesday night, beating Washburn, 81-61 in exhibition play.
The Wildcats had four players finish with double digit scoring totals, with sophomore Nino Williams leading the charge with a game high 14. Senior Jordan Henriquez added 13 points along with nine rebounds to just miss posting a double-double.
The Wildcats looked impressive early, racing out with a 19-0 run to take a 28-7 lead in the opening seven minutes of the first half. Near the end of the half, K-State went on another run, this time a 12-5 run to go into halftime leading 50-30. Williams scored 10 of his points in the first half, while bringing in six rebounds. Senior guard Rodney McGruder added a pair of 3-pointers in the half. The Wildcats shot an outstanding 54.5 percent from the floor.
A slow start in the second half, saw the Ichabods cut the lead to 13 points, after a pair of free throws from Christian Ulsaker. With the score sitting at 53-40 in favor of the Wildcats, the home team used yet another run to extend its lead to 66-41 and hold a 25-point advantage. From that point on, the Wildcats were able to switch to cruise control for the remainder of the game. Freshman D.J. Johnson was impressive in his Wildcat debut, scoring 10 points while adding seven rebounds.
With the win, K-State improves to 53-18 in exhibition games including 41-9 at home.
Bench depth proved to be a factor Tuesday night as the Wildcats bench outscored more than half the team's points with 44. Washburn's bench contributed 30 points.
K-State returns to action on Sunday, as the Wildcats play host to Emporia State in their final exhibition game of the season. The game is set for a 1 p.m. tipoff and can be seen on K-StateHD.TV.