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Season ends for Deacons: Balanced K-State beats Wake Forest in First Four

By Joe Kay

AP Sports Writer

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Kamau Stokes scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half of a wide-open game on Tuesday night, and Kansas State’s balance was the difference as the Wildcats pulled away to a 95-88 victory over Wake Forest in the First Four.

Eleventh-seeded K-State (21-13) got its first NCAA Tournament win in five years and a trip to play No. 6 Cincinnati on Friday in Sacramento as part of the South Regional.

In a matchup of two versatile offenses, the Wildcats had the most options and hot shooters. Wesley Iwundu added 24 points, and D.J. Johnson scored 18.

Wake Forest (19-14) couldn’t keep up during its first NCAA Tournament game in seven years. The Demon Deacons scored 90 points nine times during the season, but couldn’t match the Wildcats as they shot 66 percent from the field.

John Collins led Wake Forest with 26 points and nine rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State: The Wildcats repeatedly made clutch shots to hold onto the lead down the stretch. Wake Forest got within three points 11 times, but K-State always matched it.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons shot only 36 percent from the field in the first half and had more turnovers (nine) than field goals (eight), forcing them to play from behind.

UP NEXT

Kansas State: The Wildcats will try to win two NCAA Tournament games for the first time since 2010, when they lost to Butler in a regional final.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons return the bulk of one of the youngest teams in the tournament, including three sophomore starters and one junior.

•••

OKOGIE, JACKSON LEAD GEORGIA TECH PAST HOOSIERS IN NIT

ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Okogie scored 24 points, Tadric Jackson added 19, and the pair combined for 31 second-half points as Georgia Tech pulled away from Indiana for a 75-63 win in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

Quinton Stephens had 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including four 3-pointers, for the Yellowjackets (18-15), who were seeded sixth in their bracket and play the winner of Wednesday’s Belmont-Georgia game. Ben Lammers added 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

Juwan Morgan had 14 points and Thomas Bryant 13 for the third-seeded Hoosiers (18-16), who were in the NIT for the fifth time, first since 2005.

The teams traded big runs in the first half which ended with Georgia Tech up 34-27 as Indiana shot just 31 percent. The Hoosiers, who average 80 points and 48-percent shooting, took a 44-43 lead after Freddie McSwain Jr. made his only baskets, a tip-in followed by a dunk with 13:28 to play.

Shortly after that, Okogie had the last five points of a 7-0 spurt to make it 56-48 with 9:36 remaining. Jackson’s dunk at the 6:24 mark made it a 10-point game and the Yellowjackets hit 12 of 17 shots in the last 13 minutes. Indiana went cold down the stretch, missing six straight shots.

•••

CLAVELL, COLORADO STATE BEAT COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON IN NIT

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Gian Clavell had 22 points, nine rebounds and tied his career high with seven assists, Prentiss Nixon scored 19 points and Colorado State beat College of Charleston 81-74 on Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIT.

J.D. Paige added 15 points, including three 3-pointers, Emmanuel Omogbo scored 12 with seven rebounds and Nico Carvacho grabbed career-high tying 11 boards for Colorado State (24-11). The Rams, seeded fourth in their bracket, will play No. 1 seed California or eighth-seeded Cal State-Bakersfield in the second round.

Omogbo made a dunk and then Paige hit a 3 to give Colorado State the lead, 32-30, for good and spark a 15-3 run that made it 42-33 at halftime. A 3-pointer by Clavell gave the Rams their biggest lead, 60-44, with 12:55 to go, but Charleston (25-10) scored 25 of the next 37 points. During that span, Cameron Johnson had eight points and Joe Chealy scored 14 — including back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 72-69 with 5:21 left. The Cougars, however, missed their next six shots and Colorado State held on.

Chealy finished with 16 points, Johnson added 15 and Jarrell Brantley scored 12 with 11 rebounds for No. 5 seed Charleston.

Colorado State, which committed just six turnovers, scored 19 points off 11 Cougars miscues.

Okogie, Jackson lead Georgia Tech past Hoosiers 75-63 in NIT

ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Okogie scored 24 points, Tadric Jackson added 19, and the pair combined for 31 second-half points as Georgia Tech pulled away from Indiana for a 75-63 win in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

Quinton Stephens had 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including four 3-pointers, for the Yellowjackets (18-15), who were seeded sixth in their bracket and play the winner of Wednesday’s Belmont-Georgia game. Ben Lammers added 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

Juwan Morgan had 14 points and Thomas Bryant 13 for the third-seeded Hoosiers (18-16), who were in the NIT for the fifth time, first since 2005.

The teams traded big runs in the first half which ended with Georgia Tech up 34-27 as Indiana shot just 31 percent. The Hoosiers, who average 80 points and 48-percent shooting, took a 44-43 lead after Freddie McSwain Jr. made his only baskets, a tip-in followed by a dunk with 13:28 to play.

Shortly after that, Okogie had the last five points of a 7-0 spurt to make it 56-48 with 9:36 remaining. Jackson’s dunk at the 6:24 mark made it a 10-point game and the Yellowjackets hit 12 of 17 shots in the last 13 minutes. Indiana went cold down the stretch, missing six straight shots.

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