Wildcats Take Down Cyclones Thanks to Stingy Defense

 Kansas State used its stingy defense to continue its momentum to end the season, as the Wildcats concluded their home schedule with a 61-56 win over Iowa State in front of a limited capacity crowd of 899 fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.

K-State held Iowa State to just 35.8 percent (19-of-53) shooting, including 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from 3-point range, while forcing 16 turnovers. The Cyclones shot just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) in the second half, including 13.3 percent (2-of-15) from long range, with 13 of their 31 points coming from the free throw line.

The Wildcats (8-19, 4-14 Big 12) finished the regular season with 3 wins in their last 4 games, including a 62-57 win over No. 7/8 Oklahoma on February 23. In that span, the team has held all 4 teams to 65 points or less, including 60 or less in the 3 victories (TCU, Oklahoma and Iowa State).

K-State is now 92-10 under head coach Bruce Weber when holding an opponent to 60 points or less, including a 6-1 mark in 2020-21. The team has held 4 of their last 5 opponents under 60 points.

The defensive effort made up for a poor shooting night, as the Wildcats hit on just 38 percent (19-of-50) of their field goals, including 29.2 percent (7-of-24) from 3-point range. The team started off strong in the first half, scoring 33 points on 48.1 percent (13-of-27), including 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from long range. However, the team struggled in the second half, making just 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from the field, including 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from 3-point range.

K-State did score 15 points off the 16 turnovers by ISU and were efficient from the free throw line, knocking down 66.7 percent (16-of-24) of its attempts, including 81.3 percent (13-of-16) in the second half.

Senior Mike McGuirl was one of three Wildcats in double figures with a team-high 17 points on 3-of-9 field goals and 9-of-10 free throws in 38 minutes, while sophomore DaJuan Gordon and freshman Nijel Pack added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman Selton Miguel had a solid night with 9 points, a team-tying 5 rebounds and season-best 7 assists in 36 minutes.

Two Cyclones – seniors Jalen Coleman-Lands (19) and Solomon Young (18) – combined for 37 of the team’s 56 points on 13-of-26 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws, while the other 7 players managed just 19 points on 6-of-27 shooting and 5-of-8 free throws. Junior Javan Johnson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

With the win, K-State swept the regular-season series with Iowa State for the first time since 2017-18.