MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State held opponents to 45 and 51 points on the season so far, and on Friday night, the Wildcats provided the folks at Bramlage Coliseum with more of the same type of basketball at the expense of a young UC Irvine team.
Kamau Stokes had 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting and Kansas State started quickly on its way to a 71-49 victory over UC Irvine on Friday night.
The Wildcats (3-0) used a balanced attack to jump to an 11-0 lead while the Anteaters (2-2) could not get anything to fall with a 0-for-6 start from the field.
Xavier Sneed added 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including two 3-point baskets, for the Wildcats.
“We came out with a lot of energy and a lot of fight,” Sneed said. “I think we went on a 10-0 run to start it off. We preached that the first five minutes we will come out and punch those guys in the mouth. That is what we did.”
UC Irvine briefly got the deficit within single digits at 39-30 early in the second half but could not overcome its turnovers and poor shooting. Following the game, head coach Russell Turner was pleased with his team’s fight at resolve in their first true road test of the season.
“They fight hard, play well together and are very committed — and that showed tonight. We didn’t play very well but we fought hard and I think that we’ve got a great chance of continually getting better because we are a young team. We’re also a team that needs to perform in these opportunities. What we hope is to make the NCAA Tournament and play a team like Kansas State and be better in that environment than we were tonight.”
Brad Greene had nine points to lead the Anteaters.
“Brad’s one of our many sophomores,” Turner said. “Brad has had an incredible offseason where he shed 50 pounds. I think that there’s talent on this team in many places, just like Brad, that are going to have good nights against different opponents.”
For the second straight ballgame, the Wildcats held an opponent to under 30 percent shooting. On the offensive end, Kansas State was inconsistent and careless with the basketball at times. The interior was another concern for Kansas State as they were outrebounded 39-37.
UC Irvine: The Anteaters travel to Tempe, Ariz., to play Arizona State on Sunday.
Kansas State: The Wildcats will host Northern Arizona on Monday.