With a look ahead to March, Kansas State will try a quick turnaround from a less-than-comfortable 83-75 victory Friday over Bellarmine when the Wildcats take on South Dakota State Monday night in Manhattan, Kan.
Head coach Jerome Tang wants his team familiar playing with just one day off. Two days will have to do for now.
The Wildcats (1-1) built a big first-half lead and then held the Knights at bay in the second half to earn their first win of the season. Bellarmine never got closer than eight points in the second half.
Tylor Perry led the Wildcats for the second straight game with 18 points. He was one of four K-State players in double figures. Cam Carter tied a career high with 17. Dai Dai Ames and Arthur Kamura each had 12.
Tang was somewhat pleased with the offensive effort Friday night. After hitting just 8-of-33 from 3-point range in the season-opening loss to the USC Trojans, the Cats hit 12-of-31.
“Well, we got paint touches, we reversed the ball quickly and we were able to drive,” he said.
“They (Bellarmine) do a terrific job of guarding blocks and elbows, but if you can make them go side to side quickly, there are driving lanes … .
“There were 19 possessions where we got a paint touch and a bucket, or a pass for a bucket. Problem is, we had 15 possessions where we never got a paint touch at all. We (have) to stay away from that. We didn’t stay away from it enough in the second half.”
South Dakota State (1-1) rebounded from an 81-75 loss to Akron with a convincing 83-55 victory over Dakota Wesleyan Nov. 8.
Summit League preseason player of the year Zeke Mayo showed his 28-point effort against Akron was no fluke with 28 more against Wesleyan.
Mayo, who grabbed 10 rebounds, was one of two Jackrabbits to record a double-double. William Kyle III had 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
Mayo knows that the focus will be on him, but it’s nothing new.
“I think that’s honestly something I’ve done my entire life is put pressure on myself,” Mayo said at Summit League media day.
“With my goals and what I want to achieve, I feel like I’ve got to go out there and play like I’m trying to score the ball every time.”