Kansas St. overcomes cold 1st half, beats North Dakota 63-49
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) When Barry Brown scored a season-high 18 points in the third game of the season, he quickly had the expectations of a true scoring threat for Kanas State. But then the freshman went cold, shooting 8 of 39 from the field in a span of seven games.
Yet Brown snapped the slump on Tuesday night, scoring 15 points with three 3-pointers to lead Kansas State to a 63-49 victory over North Dakota.
Wesley Iwundu added 11 points with five rebounds and three assists for Kansas State (9-2). Justin Edwards scored all eight of his points in the second half as five players scored eight points or more for the Wildcats.
''Coaches just keep telling me to keep shooting,'' Brown said. I've been in the gym trying to get my shot back and things paid off.''
Brown was 6 of 10 from the field with two rebounds, two assists and three steals to help the Wildcats remain unbeaten (6-0) at home.
''We've said as a staff, one of the keys to our team would be Barry's progress,'' Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. ''He's shown signs in practice he can make shots.''
Drick Bernstine had 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead North Dakota (5-6), which was without leading scorer Quinton Hooker due to a foot injury.
Poor shooting plagued both Kansas State and North Dakota in the first half as the two teams combined to shoot 18 of 50 from the field to go along with 19 turnovers. The start echoed Kansas State's cold shooting in its last win over Colorado State. The Wildcats trailed 8-4 before striking an 11-0 run.
North Dakota had five consecutive scores to take a 19-15 lead with 5:13 left in the first half. Kansas State closed the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
A trio of 3-pointers early in the second half from Kamau Stokes and Edwards sparked an 11-0 run to stretch the Wildcats' lead to 38-27 with 15:12 left. North Dakota pulled to 51-46 with less than five minutes to play.
An Iwundu offensive rebound, one of 20 for Kansas State, led to a put-back to give the Wildcats a 10-point lead with 1:18 left.
Kansas State: The first meeting between the two teams came in Bruce Weber's first game as coach of the Wildcats, an 85-52 win at home on Nov. 9, 2012. . D.J. Johnson scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds after missing the second half against Colorado State on Dec. 19 due to aggravating a foot injury that caused him to miss all of last season.
North Dakota: Returns two starters from a team that posted an 8-22 record last season. . Quinton Hooker was averaging 17 points per game before injuring his foot, and had scored in double figures in 16 straight games dating back to last season.
Kansas State hosts Saint Louis on Dec. 29.
North Dakota hosts Idaho on Dec. 31.