The Kansas State Wildcats showed real promise for the first time this season, beating the undefeated Ole Miss Rebels by three, 61-58. Rebel Senior guard Marshall Henderson was bottled up for almost the whole game, scoring only 13 points. Henderson is the type of player that shoots to get hot, but he just never got hot in this game.
This was a back and forth defensive game. Neither team really had a definite edge at any point in the game. This was led to K-State’s great defense, as well as their lack of shooting. Ole Miss shot only 37.9%, and the Wildcats had an even lower mark at 36.5%. But regardless of shooting percentage, K-State still won.
“This is a huge win for us there is no doubt,” Coach Bruce Weber said according to K-State Sports. “We did not play very well and I am not sure that we coach very well. We fought and toughed it out. We have had similar games, such as Northern Colorado and Charlotte. Those games where you miss free throws and you go on the other end and do not make plays on the defensive end.”
Freshmen Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu both had great games for the Wildcats. Foster had 15 points with a huge three pointer that capped an 8-0 run with only 1:25 left to play in the game. Iwundu had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“They are doing very well,” Thomas Gipson said according to K-State Sports. “They compete in practice and it carries over to games. I am just trying to be a leader to these guys. I am pretty sure I am doing a good job of leading them, and doing a good job by leading practices and games.”
58 points is the fewest points that Ole Miss has scored all season. They average 82 points a game. K-State finally playing very good defense is a very encouraging sign moving forward. If they pull it together on the offensive end, this team can finally reach their potential.
A victory over a good Ole Miss team is a very good place to start for the Wildcats. They have two seemingly easy games against South Dakota and Troy before a big showdown with Gonzaga. The Zags aren’t the team they were last year, but that match-up will still tell us a lot about how good K-State can be.
K-State’s victory against Ole Miss was great for the Wildcats. They need to use this as a stepping stone to propel them for the rest of their non-conference schedule.