K-State led North Dakota by just nine points at the half and shot just 33 percent from the field. Kansas State sophomore Angel Rodriguez facing foul trouble in the first, came out strong during the second half hitting on two three’s and making a tough driving layup. He helped pushed the lead out to double-digits and North Dakota never recovered. K-State out scored North Dakota 49-25 in the second half as the Wildcats raced to a 32 point win in head coach Bruce Weber’s first game as head coach. Angel Rodriguez chipped in 13 points on 5-11 (45%) shooting. Thomas Gipson also chipped in 13 points and five rebounds off the bench. Will Spradling and Martavious Irving also finished in double-figures. Spradling finished with 10 points, three assist, while Irving finished with 11 points and three assist.
As a team, K-State got into an offensive groove and that is what helped them pull away in the second half. It wasn’t just done offensively. Defensively, K-State clamped down and held North Dakota to 30 percent shooting on the game and 11 percent from three. The Wildcats finished with a 41-32 advantage on the glass and give most of the credit to freshman DJ Johnson. Johnson stepped in providing energy in the post and came away with a game-high nine rebounds, six offensive. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him start before the season is over.
North Dakota scored 52 points and had just one player in double-figures. Junior wing Troy Huff finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
Kansas State wins its 10th consecutive opener and shines in Weber’s debut. Kansas State is back in action this Monday hosting Lamar at home.