Wildcats’ late run sinks Rebs
MANHATTAN, Kansas — D.J. Johnson scored eight of his 14 points during a 19-2 run in the second half, and Kansas State held off Ole Miss 69-64 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.
Wesley Iwundu finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Wildcats (13-8, 2-6). Justin Edwards and Stephen Hurt added 10 points apiece.
A 17-point swing in favor of the Wildcats, spanning six minutes, helped blow the door open and give the home team a 63-45 lead with 7:48 remaining. Johnson led the stretch with eight points, but it was Barry Brown who bookended it. Brown missed the second of two free-throw attempts following a foul with 8:49 left, but grabbed his own rebound and then sunk a 3-pointer from the corner.
Ole Miss (13-8, 3-5) was 2 of 14 from the field during the Wildcats’ spurt, including a near four-minute scoring drought. Rebels star Stefan Moody entered leading the SEC in scoring averaging 24.3 points, including 14-straight games with 20-plus points. But after his 10-point first half, Moody was held scoreless in the final period.
Kansas State opened the game with a 16-8 lead on the heels of a 9-0 run before losing starting point guard Kamau Stokes to a non-contact knee injury. Stokes was examined on the sidelines briefly before being taken to the locker room on a wheelchair.
Ole Miss recovered swiftly and took its biggest lead of the first half, 24-19, with 6:30 left. Moody, who was held scoreless for the first seven minutes, hit consecutive 3-pointers and finished the first half with a team-high 10 points. However, it was the Wildcats and backup guard Carlbe Ervin who went into the locker room at halftime with the lead. Ervin scored five points in a three-minute stretch to give the home team a 38-36 advantage at the break.