Kansas State looks to get offense on track vs. Bellarmine

After they both endured disappointing season openers, the Bellarmine Knights and Kansas State Wildcats square off Friday night in Manhattan, Kan.

Bellarmine was not expected to win at Washington on Monday, but the Knights weren’t pleased with their effort against the Huskies, a 91-57 defeat.

Bash Wieland led Bellarmine (0-1) with 14 points, but he was the only Knight to score in double figures. The Knights feature a five-guard rotation, which cost them on the boards, as they were outrebounded 36-28.

Bellarmine shot poorly from the field, hitting only 34.4 percent (21 of 61). Meanwhile, the Knights allowed the Huskies to connect on 62.1 percent (36 of 58) of their shots.

Bellarmine closed within nine with a little more than 15 minutes remaining in the second half after a basket by Wieland, but Washington’s Koren Johnson took over the game during a 14-0 run that pushed Washington’s lead to 23. The Huskies’ advantage never dipped below 20 after that.

Kansas State (0-1) also struggled to make shots during its 82-69 loss to No. 21 Southern California on Monday in Las Vegas. The Wildcats hit just 31 percent (22 of 71). They were even worse from long range, hitting 8 of 33 (24.2 percent).

Kansas State came into the season expecting to shoot well from the field, so coach Jerome Tang thinks things will improve.

“We beat ourselves a lot,” Tang said. “There were a whole lot of self-inflicted wounds and things that we can definitely correct. They are a very good team, so some of our mistakes were because of USC. But a whole lot more of our mistakes were on us. So that’s what we’re going to work on. There’s no fairy dust to fix this thing.”

Tang expects Bellarmine to put up a fight.

“I know they’re a really good shooting team and they’ve won in the past,” Tang said. “They’ve got some guys who know what winning is about and they shoot the ball, they move, they cut. So, we’re gonna defend them before the catch and not just allow them to be comfortable and move the ball.”