MANHATTAN — Kansas State's basketball team, coming off a rough two-day outing at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, found Bramlage Coliseum a friendlier environment Sunday.
Of course, facing North Dakota as opposed to nationally-ranked Arkansas and Illinois might have had something to do with that as well.
The Wildcats reeled off 16 straight points late in the second half to take control and proceeded to blow out North Dakota, 84-42, in front of a sparse holiday weekend crowd.
Still, it was a much-needed shot in the arm for K-State, which struggled to find consistency in any phase of their game Monday and Tuesday at T-Mobile Center.
Here are a couple of takeaways from dominating performance against North Dakota (2-5) as the Wildcats improved to 3-2.
Spreading the wealth
K-State can be pretty dynamic on offense when spreading the wealth and taking good shots.
The Wildcats shot 60.3% for the game, including 9 of 19 from 3-point range, and had five players score in double figures.
Center Kaosi Ezeagu scored a career-high 15 points and had a season-best seven rebounds, which was key with Davion Bradford, the Wildcats' other big man, sidelined while battling the lasting effects of pneumonia and strep throat from the preseason.
The guards did the rest, led by backup Markquis Nowell with 18 points and five assists, and Nijel Pack with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Mike McGuirl, back in the starting lineup, reached double figures for the first time this year with 15 points and Mark Smith had 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Team defense effective
The Wildcats were equally effective on the defensive end, limiting North Dakota to 29.3% and limiting the Fighting Hawks to 3 of 33 shooting from 3-point range.
K-State won the rebounding battle, 39-32, forced 17 turnovers and had 13 steals, leading to 25 points.
The Wildcats return to action Wednesday at Bramlage against Albany.
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas State basketball back on track with blowout of North Dakota