In the opening round of the preseason NIT on Monday, Kansas State faced off against the Lamar Cardinals. The outcome of the game was never really in doubt after the opening tip as the Cats got out to a sizable lead early and cruised to a 79-55 victory.
For the second straight game, sophomore guard Angel Rodriguez led the team in scoring. This time around he poured in 19 points in 20 minutes of action, giving him a total of 32 points in just 35 minutes to start the season. Rodriguez was 4-6 from beyond the arc as was junior guard Will Spradling who, with 14 points of his own, was the only other Wildcat in double digits. Beyond Rodriguez and Spradling, nine others put the ball in the basket.
DJ Johnson and Jordan Henriquez each pulled down 8 boards to lead the team in that category while the latter blocked 6 shots.
On the other side of the ledger, the Cardinals were led by senior guard Donley Minor who scored 17, and freshman forward Rhon Mitchell who finished with 15. Add in the 11 point contribution from forward Stan Brown and you have accounted for 78.2% of Lamar’s output on the night.
While the Cardinals did lose by 24, they never quit in the game and that’s a credit to both their players and coaches. They went into the half trailing 43-15 but outscored the Wildcats 40-36 in the 2nd half. Lamar out-shot K-State from the floor, from three and had a better percentage at the free-throw line but they also turned the ball over 26 times compared to just 10 turnovers by K-State. Given the way the game played out, Coach Weber was able to go deep into his bench as 13 players took the floor with 12 of them playing at least five minutes.
Lamar lost tonight 74-59 to the North Texas Mean Green.
Kansas State also played this evening. Their opponent was the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers. For more on that game, stay tuned for the recap coming shortly.