Iowa State struggles in Big 12 opener
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — Junior Dean Wade poured in a career-high 34 points, Kamau Stokes added 23 and Kansas State opened Big 12 play by pounding Iowa State 91-75 on Friday night for its first win in Ames since 2011.
Barry Brown Jr. had 21 points for the Wildcats (11-2, 1-0 Big 12), who shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range to snap Iowa State’s nine-game winning streak.
After a blistering first half that saw K-State jump ahead 53-50, the Wildcats put away the Cyclones (9-3, 0-1) by tightening up their defense.
Iowa State missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the second half, and Kansas State jumped ahead by 12 on a Xavier Sneed 3.
Wade’s 3, his sixth of the night, made it 75-60 with just fewer than 10 minutes to go. He finished 13-of-16 shooting for the Wildcats, who had dropped their previous four meetings against the Cyclones.
Lindell Wigginton scored 23 points in his Big 12 debut to lead Iowa State, which committed 13 turnovers and shot just 23 percent in the second half after hitting 68 percent of its shots in the opening frame.
THE BIG PICTURE
Kansas State: Given how brutal the Big 12 figures to be in 2018, opening with a road win — even against rebuilding Iowa State — is big for the Wildcats. And although the 6-foot-10 Wade likely won’t shoot as well as he did on Friday in the future, having a big man that can stretch defenses should continue to open things up for K-State’s talented backcourt.
Iowa State: The Cyclones can’t expect to play defense like they did on Friday night and win much in the Big 12. That’s often an issue for teams relying on as many youngsters as Iowa State is. Three of the Cyclones’ top four scorers were freshmen.
The Cyclones hosts Texas on New Year’s Day.
Kansas State opens its Big 12 home schedule against West Virginia on Jan. 1.
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