Nino Williams had been thinking about Hilton Coliseum for a year.
Williams, a Kansas State senior forward, did not play well in his first three trips to Iowa State’s arena, and he wanted to buck that trend in his final appearance.
That extra motivation worked. Williams scored a career-high 22 points, while also leading K-State in rebounds (eight), assists (four) and steals (three).
“I thought Nino had a great game,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “He played, probably, to the point of exhaustion.”
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Williams did most of his damage on long jump jumpers, going eight for 13 from the field. He also made all six of his free throws.
“We knew coming in, the way they guard, that was going to be open,” Williams said of the jump shots. “We practiced it the last couple days. I knew I was going to get some shots like that. So I felt good taking them. I said after last game that I never played well here. I had a little extra motivation after saying that and came out and tried to do my best for my team.”
▪ Backup point guard Nigel Johnson injured his right knee in the first half, and Weber said his status moving forward is unknown.
Johnson fell to the ground after the injury and needed help off the floor, but he quickly began walking under his own power and returned to the game. He spent the second half on the bench.
▪ K-State made 93.8 percent of its free throws, the 10th highest percentage in program history.
▪ K-State and Iowa State are used to close games at Hilton Coliseum. Their last four meetings in Ames have been decided by an average of five points.
▪ Key Play: Marcus Foster hit a jumper to spark a 9-0 run that put K-State on top 38-36 near the end of the half.
▪ Key Stat: K-State made 51.7 percent of its shots.
▪ Key Play: Abdel Nader blocked Jevon Thomas as he attempted a layup with the score tied at 69.
▪ Key Stat: K-State misses seven of its final eight shots.