The K-State Wildcats earned their biggest victory of the young season, beating No. 21 Gonzaga 72-62. This was by far the best K-State has played all season, and really could propel them going forward.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but after that both teams went back and forth until late in the second half. The lead changed six times, and K-State took the lead for the final time with 8:24 left in the game. From that point until the final minute of the game, Gonzaga scored just one basket. The 15-2 run by the Wildcats put the game away.
K-State’s defense was the difference. The Zags averaged 88 points per game before their match-up in Wichita, and were held to just 62 points. Gonzaga also had a season-high 12 turnovers thanks to K-State’s great defense.
Four Wildcats scored double digits for their squad. Marcus Foster and Thomas Gipson poured in 14 points each. Wesley Iwundu put in 13, while Shane Southwell added 11. Gipson was the most efficient scorer. He got the ball inside frequently and made good use of it almost every time. Foster continued to score well, but isn’t very efficient yet. As he continues to grow as a player, his efficiency should get better.
Foster did have a play to remember, though. In transition, Southwell dished it to Foster who had only John Stockton’s son, David, in front of him. Foster, with disregard for human life, dunked right over Stockton setting the crowd on fire.
K-State was also good from the free throw, shooting 76%. That is their highest mark so far this season. They made their shots when it mattered in the final minutes, which is something that has plagued them all season.
This sort of win can put a team on a very good path. If you don’t believe me, look at the 2012-2013 Wildcat basketball team. They struggled early in the season, then beat Florida at the Sprint Center. After beating Florida, K-State went on to share the Big 12 title. While K-State fans shouldn’t expect any hardware this season, steps forward are always positive.