Fri, 21 Jan 2022

Kansas State, Wichita State meet for regional bragging rights

Field Level Media
05 Dec 2021, 05:55 GMT+10

A regional rivalry will resume from a long hiatus Sunday when Kansas State travels two hours south to play a nonconference game against Wichita State.

The in-state clash hasn't been played since 2003, with Kansas State holding the all-time series advantage at 20-11.

K-State (4-2) has four wins again lower-level mid-major programs, including back-to-back dominant wins over North Dakota and Albany, but the Shockers provide a different level of competition.

Wichita State (6-1) is fresh off a 60-51 victory at Oklahoma State on Wednesday. The Shockers' only loss this season was an 82-78 overtime setback to Arizona at Las Vegas on Nov. 19. Arizona was unranked at the time but is now No. 11.

K-State defeated Albany 71-43 on Wednesday night after doubling up North Dakota last Sunday 84-42. The key has been solid defense, as the two opponents combined for a shooting percentage of 30.4 percent (34 of 112).

"We've been locked-in in practice on being a better defensive team each game," point guard Nijel Pack said. "We've been talking about improving. We just need to keep getting better. Our coaches do a great job getting us prepared and we go out and execute."

The Wildcats also have been getting balanced scoring, led by a consistent Pack who has scored between 14 and 18 points in all six games. Pack leads the Cats with 15.8 points per game, but six other players average at least 6.2 points.

The Shockers trailed Oklahoma State 45-38 midway through the second half Wednesday but finished on a 22-6 run. It was Wichita State's second straight impressive road victory after defeating Missouri 61-55 on Nov. 26.

Ricky Council IV scored nine points in the final six minutes for Wichita State against Oklahoma State.

"We see it every day in practice," Shockers coach Isaac Brown said of Council. "He's one of the best players in the country when it comes to creating shots off the dribble. And I thought he did a tremendous job."

--Field Level Media

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