MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Will Spradling had a season-high 14 points and Marcus Foster also scored 14 points as Kansas State defeated Troy 72-43 on Sunday evening.
It is the ninth time in 10 games that Foster has reached double figures for the Wildcats.
Despite its undersized roster Kansas State dominated the Trojans on the boards grabbing 17 rebounds on the offensive end and 44 total.
Antoine Myers had 12 points and Wes Hinton added 10 points to pace the Trojans.
Kansas State entered the game with the Big 12's best scoring defense at 61.2 points while also holding opponents to 26 percent shooting from 3-point range.
The Trojans finished at 36.2 shooting while converting on just 3-19 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats left little doubt from the start. Seven points from Foster backed an opening 14-2 run by the Wildcats over the first four minutes of the first half.
Kansas State Postgame Notes
Kansas State (7-3) 72 – Troy (4-4) 43
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Manhattan, Kan. | Bramlage Coliseum
· K-State is now 1,536-1,080 all-time in its history.
· Head coach Bruce Weber is now 347-167 all-time and 34-11 at K-State.
· Today’s match-up marked the second time the two schools have faced each other with K-State moving to 2-0 in the series… The Wildcats defeated the Trojans, 64-60, on Nov. 16, 2001.
· K-State moved to 14-0 vs. current Sun Belt Conference members, including 8-0 mark at home.
· K-State improved to 64-3 at home in non-conference play dating back to the 2006-07 season… The Wildcats have now won 53 of their last 54 non-conference home games.
· The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of freshman guard Marcus Foster, senior guard Will Spradling, senior guard Shane Southwell, freshman forward Wesley Iwundu and junior forward Thomas Gipson… This is the fifth time K-State has used this starting lineup this season with the Wildcats winning all five match-ups.
· Foster and Spradling have started all 10 games, while Iwundu and Southwell have now started nine in a row… The freshman duo of Foster and Iwundu have started together each of the last nine games.
· K-State recorded 24 assists on 28 field goals made… This is the highest number of assists for the Wildcats since March 5, 2013 against TCU where the Wildcats had 27 assists.
· K-State has now held eight of 10 opponents below 65 points this season, including holding Troy to a season-low 43 points on 36.2 percent shooting.
· K-State out-rebounded Troy, 44-27, marking the sixth consecutive game the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent…The team is now 26-2 under head coach Bruce Weber when out-rebounding their opponent, including a mark of 5-1 this season.
· The Wildcats forced the Trojans into 16 turnovers, which K-State turned into 20 points.
· K-State had 22 points off the bench, including seven from junior forward Nino Williams.
· Marcus Foster scored in double figures with a game-high 14 points… He has now scored in double figures in nine consecutive games.
· Will Spradling also scored in double figures with a game-high and season-high 14 points… This is his third game in which he has scored in double figures this season… Sunday’s mark of 14 tops his previous game high since he poured in 19 against West Virginia on Feb. 18, 2013.
· Thomas Gipson provided the muscle down-low with nine points… He also managed to pull down seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
· Shane Southwell filled up the stat sheet with seven points, seven assists and five rebounds… He has now recorded at least five rebounds in eight of 10 games on the season.
Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
“It was a good day for K-State, obviously with the women winning. It was a nice win for them going into exams and then the same with us. We wrote on the board energy, effort, persistence and play as a team. I think we had great energy and set the tone of the game from the beginning with our defense. We held them to nine points through, I think, the first 18 or 19 minutes of the game. They hit a couple of three-pointers at the end of the half to get to 15, so we did a pretty good job defensively. We controlled the boards, turned them over and were pretty active – much better than we were Tuesday night. And, we really moved the basketball. I think the best stat on the stat sheet is our 24 assists and 28 baskets, so almost every basket we had an assist. It was a great job of sharing the basketball and moving it. I think we attacked the zone a little bit better, even when they went 1-3-1 and we were not ready for that. Once we got into our spots, I thought we did a nice job even with our backup guys - Brian [Rohleder] hit that big shot that got them out of it. It was nice to see Will [Spradling] hit some shots and it was just a good balanced game. We have some guys that are boogered up a little bit and we have finals coming up. First they need to get some treatment and then get ready for finals. We will do weights and shooting tomorrow. Tuesday we need to have a decent practice, Wednesday they are off taking exams all day, Thursday we need a big time practice and Friday we will head down to Wichita, hopefully to see a big crowd and see if we can get the Zags.”
On if today’s game had the best ball movement this season…
“Yes, there is no doubt. We have talked about that, to make the extra pass. The freshmen are starting to get a little better. I thought we cut it in the middle and got it to Shane [Southwell]. He had seven assists and no turnovers and he made some nice passes out of that, which we had not been doing a good job of. Part of it is that our zone offense gets so far out, that we cannot even feed it into the middle because there is no angle. We have really emphasized flattening the zone out, swinging it and swinging it, then getting the ball inside or move the defense inside and outside. We went high post to low post a couple of times and got some layups. It is just better. The freshmen are starting to understand a little bit about attacking the zone. Marcus [Foster] still goes, and he is a really good player, but if it is one on three, he needs to be a little bit more patient, let some things happen and make that easy nice pass for a bucket. People are going to chase him just like they did Rod [McGruder]. That cut that he made in the second half coming tight off of a curl and hitting that shot – if he starts doing, it is going to be tough for people to defend him.”
On getting fast points in transition…
“I think the other night it was like 14-0 transition points for South Dakota and that is not their thing. They beat us down the court, but today was good. It eases the pressure on our half-court offense. If you get a couple layups, maybe get fouled, now the hoop seems a little bigger and you play a little more confident, even in the half court.”
On the offensive rebounding numbers…
“We have been much better since the beginning, just in rebounding overall. We put a lot of time into it with boxing out. I think they have watched film and realized how much it has affected the game. We stayed with five guys coming to the glass. It has got to be a team effort, and I think even if you look at the stats, we did not have anybody with 10 or more rebounds. It is all a six, six, five type of thing. And again, offensive rebounding against zones is one of its weaknesses. If you move the ball and get them scrambling, then shoot the ball, it is tough to get to the boards. Nino [Williams] did a nice job. That was one of his better efforts in a while of getting to the boards. And then he was patient, he threw it out which was good. He got us a lot of second opportunities.”
Senior Guard Will Spradling
On his play today…
“I felt great all week. I have been doing well in practice and shooting the ball really well. The coaches have really been on me to shoot more. That is something that I tried to do today.”
On Marcus Foster…
“Obviously, he is a great scorer. He has the mentality that the best scorers have and he is relentless. Some nights he does not have the best shooting nights, but he is still not afraid to put it up and attack the basket.”
Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On his defensive improvement…
“Coming back from Puerto Rico and watching film, I was not impressed with my defense. My whole mindset coming in was that I had to get better on defense. It is the little things - like when the ball is away from me - I have to be in the stands and my on-ball defense. My whole focus is defense.”
On his scoring abilities…
“When I score, I score in bunches. You might see me score nine or 12 points in a row. It is something that you can expect out of me.”
Troy Head Coach Phil Cunningham
“We ran into a really good defensive team today. Thought their team coming into today had been struggling offensively—if you looked at their percentages or watched it on video, you see some guys that have been struggling and are way overdue. But they came out of it today—they are so consistently defensively they took us out of everything we were trying to do offensively in the first half.”
On the advantage K-State had in size…
“Definitely, when you look at their team they have an advantage in size. Their small forward starter is 6’7--he’s not really that strong but is quick and athletic. He is a good offensive rebounder for a freshman. Their back-up looks like a linebacker—6’3, 225, so that is a strength of theirs. It is not really from a physical standpoint—we have struggled against the bigger, more physical teams that rebound. They got us in the first half when the game got away from us when we played zone because they had such a size advantage. We did a pretty good job on the first shot defense—they missed a lot of shots in their zone, but they continued to rebound out of the zone. That is when that really got that good lead on us.”
On his thoughts of freshman guard Marcus Foster
“The first thing I see is how they got him out of Texas? I was at Mississippi State for 12 years as an assistant coach and recruited—he is a big time player. He can shoot, he can drive it, his body is physically tough, he is mature as a freshman, and he is just a really talented player—he is going to do great things here. He is hard to guard, you have to get over-the-top of ball screens. Ball screens are such a prevalent part of offense in college basketball now—he can get off the ball screens and get to the dribble. He is a tough matchup; he can come off ball-screens and make shots. Just watching him as a player out there, I love his energy—seems to have a great attitude, seems to be a great kid—he is going to be a great player here.”