KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Makol Mawien scored 15 points to lead four players in double-figures scoring, Kansas State turned up its trademark defense and the Wildcats beat high-scoring Vanderbilt 69-58 on Saturday night.
Barry Brown Jr. and Kamau Stokes added 12 points apiece, and Cartier Diarrahad 10, as the Wildcats (9-2) forced 15 turnovers while holding the Commodores (7-3) to 32-percent shooting from the field and 7 of 25 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Kansas State struggled to adjust to life without injured star Dean Wade earlier in the week against Southern Miss. But the Wildcats looked much more comfortable without their top scorer against a tougher opponent from the SEC, improving to 8-1 in Wildcat Classic games in Kansas City.
Matt Ryan hit four 3s and scored 14 points to lead the Commodores. Joe Toye had 11 points and Simisola Shittu added 10.
Vanderbilt rolled into the Sprint Center, where the Wildcats are accustomed to playing the Big 12 Tournament, averaging more than 83 points and fresh off an upset of No. 18 Arizona State.
The Commodores came up empty on 11 of their first 13 possessions, and had as many turnovers as points (four) midway through the half. It wasn’t until Shittu’s basket with 6:01 left that Vanderbilt reached double-digits in scoring, and the Commodores still faced a 30-20 halftime deficit.
Vanderbilt finally went on a run, scoring 11 straight to nip into its deficit. And after Mike McGuirl’s basket for Kansas State, the Commodores scored five more to get within 51-43 with 6:14 left.
It was at that point Diarra checked back into the game for the Wildcats, and the sophomore guard got them back on track. He sliced through the lane to pick up a foul and made both free throws, then he drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to restore a 58-45 cushion with four minutes left.
Kansas State buckled back down defensively to put the game away.