K-State captures Paradise Jam championship


MANHATTAN, KS – NOVEMBER 12: Kansas State Wildcats players huddle after a foul against the Denver Pioneers during the second half on November 12, 2018 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Behind a stellar night behind the 3-point line, No. 12/12 Kansas State captured the 2018 U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam Championship with an 82-67 win over former conference foe Missouri on Monday night in front of 2,274 fans at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center.
K-State (5-0) earned the 14th regular-season tournament championship in school history and the first since winning the 2011 Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i. It was also the sixth career tournament title for head coachBruce Weber and his first with the Wildcats.
Senior Dean Wade was named the tournament’s most valuable player after averaging 17.3 points on 61.8 percent (21-of-34) shooting with 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three games, while fellow senior Barry Brown, Jr., was one of five players selected as Paradise Jam Tournament All-Stars.
Struggling from the 3-point line through the first four games of the season, the Wildcats broke out of their slump with a barrage of 12 treys from five different players on 24 attempts, including a game-high 4 by Wade. The 3-point performance highlighted an impressive all-around offensive night, as the team connected on 54.5 percent (30-of-55) of their field goals, including 50 percent or better in both halves.
The 237th meeting between the former conference rivals was tight in the early going before consecutive 3-pointers by Wade with 3:29 remaining in the first half started a 13-0 run that gave K-State a 40-27 advantage at the break. The run continued, as a quick 7-2 spurt extended the lead to 47-29 just 90 seconds into the second half.
Despite several threats, the lead would not dip under 13 points the rest of the way in the Wildcats’ fifth straight win over the Tigers, the longest such stretch since an eight-game winning streak from 1965-68.
Wade paced four Wildcats in double figures with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Brown scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go with a game-high 6 assists and 6 rebounds, while junior Xavier Sneed and senior Kamau Stokes chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Missouri was led by senior Jordan Geist, who scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting, while freshmanXavier Pinson and sophomore Mark Smith added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
After both teams went the first two possessions without a bucket, Stokes opened the scoring with a 3-pointer that started a quick 7-0 run by the Wildcats and forced the Tigers to take their first timeout with 16:45 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Sneed extended the lead to 10-2 before the teams went back and forth responding to each other as K-State took a 19-12 into the media timeout with 10:24 to play.
A 7-0 run by Missouri tied the score at 19-all on a dunk by Reed Nikko with 7:37 before halftime.
The teams battled through their fourth tie of the half at 27-all before back-to-back 3-pointers from Wade ignited a 13-0 run to end to the half, which included a pair of free throws by Brown, a 3-pointer by Sneed and backdoor lay-up by Cartier Diarra to give K-State a 40-27 lead at the break.
The Wildcats connected on 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field, including 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from 3-point range, while the Tigers shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24), including 42.9 percent (3-of-7) from long range. Wade led the way with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
K-State picked up where it left off in the first half, as the team scored seven of the first nine points to open the second half, including a 3-pointer from Sneed, to take a 47-29 advantage with 18:29 to play.
A quick 5-0 run by Missouri cut into the lead before Stokes canned his second trey of the night to start a 9-2 run that forced the Tigers to call a timeout down 56-36 after a dunk by Wade at the 13:31 mark.
A Levi Stockard layup gave the Wildcats a 58-36 lead with 12:50 to play before the Tigers charged back with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 58-44 at the media timeout with 10:58 remaining.
The teams went back and forth over the next few minutes before a mini 8-2 run, keyed by consecutive 3-pointers by Diarra, pushed the K-State lead to 70-51 with 7:58 to play.
Another 5-0 run by Missouri cut the deficit to 72-58 with 4:40 to play, however, K-State responded with a 6-0 run to again extend the lead back out to 20 at 78-58 at the 3:34 mark.
A 3-point play by Wade capped the night to push it to 81-60 with 2:21 remaining, as the reserves from both teams played at the last few minutes.
The Wildcats connected on 55.6 percent (15-of-27) of their field goals in the second half, including 40 percent (4-of-10) from 3-point range, while hitting on 8-of-10 free throws. Brown scored 12 of his 19 points after halftime.

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