Kansas State advances with 95-88 win over Wake Forest
DAYTON, Ohio -- Wesley Iwundu scored 24 points and Kamau Stokes added 22, lifting Kansas State to a 95-88 victory over Wake Forest in a NCAA Tournament First Four matchup of No. 11 seeds on Tuesday night at University of Dayton Arena.
Both teams had to sweat on Selection Sunday, but the Wildcats moved on to face No. 6 seed Cincinnati in the South Regional on Friday in Sacramento, Calif.
Kansas State (21-13) shot 66 percent from the field on Tuesday and 70 percent in the second half. The Wildcats never shot better than 56 percent in 18 Big 12 games this season.
K-State won despite a dominant performance by Wake Forest sophomore forward John Collins, who scored 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. He went 8 of 8 from the free throw line and grabbed nine rebounds.
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Bryant Crawford added 20 points for the Demon Deacons, who were 29 of 32 from the free throw line to help keep the score relatively close.
But Wake Forest had no answer on defense for Kansas State, which outscored the Demon Deacons 42-24 in the paint.
Wake Forest shot just 36.4 percent from the field in the first half but went 17 of 18 from the free throw line.
Kansas State made seven straight shots to go ahead 34-29. The Wildcats led by as many as seven points in the first half.
K-State carved up the Demon Deacons' defense in the half, scoring 24 of 40 first-half points in the paint.
Iwundu scored 10 points for the Wildcats, including a tomahawk dunk, in the first half.
His two-hand jam off an assist from Stokes put K-State ahead 47-40 early in the second half.
D.J. Johnson's tip-in with 15:32 left gave K-State its largest lead to that point at 57-47. He finished with 18 points.
But Wake Forest managed to stay in the game. Austin Arians' third 3-pointer cut K-State's lead to 64-62 with nine minutes left. Arians finished with 17 points.
Wake Forest was within one or two points on a few occasions in the second half, but K-State had an answer.
After a dunk by Collins made the score 72-70 with five minutes left, Stokes nailed a deep 3-pointer to push the Wildcats' lead to five and they pulled away from there.
NOTES: Kansas State made its third NCAA Tournament trip in five seasons under coach Bruce Weber. ... The Wildcats are 34-32 overall in 29 NCAA Tournament appearances. ... Wake Forest made its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2010. ... It was the first meeting between the programs. ... Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning starred for the Kansas Jayhawks, helping them defeat archrival K-State in the Midwest Regional final en route to the 1988 national title.