Kansas State Notebook

Game is a confidence booster for K-State’s Will Spradling

Updated: 2014-01-26T05:14:41Z

First half

•  Key play: Monte Morris drove the length of the court to beat the buzzer and send Iowa State to the locker room with a 46-34 lead.

•  Key stat: The Cyclones’ Matt Thomas, who entered the game averaging 6.3 points, went four for four from three-point range.

Second half

•  Key play: Marcus Foster fumbled a pass out of bounds with the score tied at 50-50. Iowa State scored on the next possession and never trailed again.

•  Key stat: Melvin Ejim scored 18 points.

Confidence booster

If there’s one K-State player who could take something positive away from the loss, it was Will Spradling.

The senior guard, who has struggled to make shots, hit a season-high four three-pointers on his way to 12 points. He was at his best in the second half, when he made three quick perimeter shots.

“I got moving,” Spradling said. “I haven’t really shot it on the move this year. I have been a lot more catch and shoot. I feel more comfortable catching it on the move, because I am able to get my legs under me.”

He had a feeling he was going to play well.

“After the Texas game, my shot felt really good,” Spradling said. “I shot it well in that game and it kind of carried over in practice this week and I carried that over into this game.”

His next challenge: Shooting well outside of Hilton Coliseum. For whatever reason, Spradling always has played well in Ames. He has averaged nearly 12 points in four career trips.

• Shane Southwell scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds against Iowa State, but Bruce Weber focused on a different stat after the game. He was upset Southwell played 32 minutes.

“Shane doesn’t need to play 30-some minutes,” Weber said. “We need him to be a little fresher.”

Weber said he would like to use Nino Williams in place of Southwell on a more regular basis, but Williams is foul prone. On Saturday, he committed four fouls in 12 minutes.

• Weber had some choice words about the officials. K-State and Iowa State battled for several loose balls in the second half. At one point, a skirmish broke out and Melvin Ejim was given a technical foul. Still, Weber thought too many of those calls went in Iowa State’s favor.

“I’m not sure about the calls on the baseline,” Weber said. “If you’re not going to call one loose ball foul, how are you going to call the other one?”

| Kellis Robinett, krobinett@kcstar.com

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