MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — No. 17 Kansas State, playing without three starters, got huge games from Jamar Samuels and Wally Judge to dominate North Florida 100-76 on Friday.
Samuels had 26 points while Judge added 22, both season highs, for the Wildcats (11-3).
Parker Smith hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points to lead North Florida (4-9).
Kansas State was without leading scorers Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly due to suspensions for violating NCAA rules by receiving impermissible benefits in the form of clothing at a local department store. Starting center Freddy Asprilla missed the game due to illness.
The Wildcats' offense did not suffer, though.
The Wildcats pounded the ball inside and took a 16-4 lead in the first 3:35, a span that included two 3-pointers and two three-point plays.
The Wildcats built a 24-10 lead in less than 5 minutes, making nine of their first 10 shots.
But North Florida, playing its sixth opponent from one of the six power conferences, climbed back in the game behind Smith. The sophomore reserve guard scored 13 points — nine on three 3-pointers — in a span of less than 8 minutes midway through the half.
Smith's consecutive 3-pointers cut the Wildcats' lead to 39-32 with 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
But K-State went back inside, where it was having success. Making his first start this season, Samuels had 17 points — already a season high — in the first half, almost all of them in the paint.
Judge had 12 first-half points around the rim or on free throws, and he had three points in a 12-4 run to end the half. Jordan Henriquez-Roberts' tip-in at the buzzer gave the Wildcats a 57-41 lead.
K-State made sure North Florida would not make another sizable run by dominating the boards. The Wildcats outrebounded the Ospreys 42-15. Kansas State had 18 offensive rebounds leading to 17 second-chance points.
Despite Smith hitting four more 3-pointers in the second half, the Ospreys never cut into the halftime deficit. In a three-day span, Smith scored a combined 46 points in games at Maryland and Kansas State.
The large margin allowed the Wildcats to spread out the minutes. Former walk-on Victor Ojeleye had a career-high 12 points and sophomore guard Juevol Myles had 12 points — more than he had scored the rest of the season combined.
K-State coach Frank Martin had little-used walk-on Alex Potuzak in the game with 8:47 remaining.