MANHATTAN, Kansas — Inconsistent, sluggish and lethargic.
Those are words that come to mind to describe the performance of the Kansas State Wildcats on Wednesday night — at least all the Wildcats except Dean Wade.
Wade scored 25 points and grabs 11 rebounds as Kansas State defeated Oral Roberts 77-68 at Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night.
This was the first game for the Wildcats (6-1) since returning from the Las Vegas Invitational and they came out of the gate rather sluggishly after going on an early 13-2 run.
“On the board, I said ‘special effort.'” Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said following the contest.
“Dean (Wade) had 25 points, 11 rebounds — almost a career high and 14 on the play hard chart. He gave us that special effort and made a lot of big plays when we needed him.”
Although the Wildcats led for a majority of the game, the contest was closer than expected given the turnovers, missed shots and second opportunities allowed by Weber’s club. Wade was the only consistent player on an inconsistent night as he shot 9 of 14 from the field and converted six of eight at the foul line.
The next highest scorer was Kamau Stokes who scored 12 points on the night but did not find favor with the rim as he shot 3 of 11 in the contest.
Even though Kansas State walked out with the victory, the immediate aftermath still stings with Stokes as the team looks forward to their showdown with Vanderbilt.
“A win is a win, we definitely are not happy. We have to move on and get ready for Vanderbilt,” Stokes said.
Oral Roberts (1-7) rebounded from a lackluster start in the first half to get within five points midway through the second half but could not overcome their own struggles shooting the basketball.
Things did change midway through the first half when the Golden Eagles went to various zone defenses to slow down the Wildcats offense and they found great success with it.
“You have to have players that do things that do not show up on the stat sheet.” Oral Roberts head coach Paul Mills said.
“You have to be tough, resilient and go after loose balls. Basketball is not a solo game. It is meant to be played together. I thought they did a good job of picking each other up,” Mills said.
Sam Kearns led Oral Roberts with 21 points on 6 of 12 shooting while Javen White and Albert Owens added 14 and 13, respectively, in the losing effort.
Coming off of the Thanksgiving weekend break, Kansas State came out flat as did Oral Roberts but the Golden Eagles did a good job of weathering the early struggles. Although their six-game losing streak is now seven, you’ve got to give ORU head coach Paul Mills credit for keeping his squad in the ballgame and not rolling over for the Wildcats
Oral Roberts: Oral Roberts travels to Little Rock on Dec. 2.
Kansas State: Kansas State travels to Vanderbilt on Dec. 3.