Kansas State used a new starting lineup Wednesday that featured two point guards to combat West Virginia’s full-court press.
Nigel Johnson played alongside Jevon Thomas, and the ball handlers complemented each other. K-State had just 17 turnovers after losing 26 during a home loss to West Virginia last month.
Johnson played his best game of the season, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes.
“Oh god, that is about as well as he has played,” K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said. “He played strong and tough. He was dead tired, but he was playing so well we had to go with him.”
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Johnson hopes it is a sign of good things to come.
“It was a confidence booster for me,” he said.
▪ Thomas Gipson received a bizarre technical foul in the second half. After being whistled for traveling, he dropped the ball, shook his head and marched to K-State’s bench in frustration, not appearing to show any extreme emotions. But he was given a technical foul along the way.
“He said something to the ref he shouldn’t have said,” Weber said. “It is disappointing, especially in a gut-check part of the game. We are battling. You have got to keep your poise. Plus, Thomas gets another foul.”
Weber said West Virginia’s style of play, which he has previously criticized may have been a factor.
“It is frustrating for the kids, because you feel like you are getting fouled a lot,” Weber said. “Obviously, you can’t call it every possession. It is hard on the kids. I think that is what (Bob Huggins) is trying to do. They just wear you down.”
▪ k-State’s Brandon Bolden played his best game in months, coming off the bench to score five points. Weber used a big lineup at times that featured 6-foot-11 forwards Stephen Hurt and Bolden.
▪ Justin Edwards said he vowed to work harder in practice following K-State’s last game, and that extra work led to him scoring 14 points.
▪ Tre Harris was held scoreless after hitting a combined seven three-pointers in his past two games.
▪ Key play: West Virginia’s Jaysean Paige made a dunk that sparked an 8-0 run near the end of the first half.
▪ Key stat: K-State used four timeouts.
▪ Key play: Nigel Johnson was whistled for an intentional foul in the closing minute.
▪ Key stat: K-State made 56.8 percent of its shots.