GAME NOTES: Kansas State takes a six-game win streak into the Brooklyn Hoops Festival, where the Wildcats will meet up with the Tulane Green Wave at the Barclays Center.
On a serious roll, Kansas State finished up its pre-holiday contests with a 10-point victory over No. 21 Gonzaga in the Wichita Wildcat Classic. The Wildcats are 8-3 on the season, but have a tough Big 12 Conference to compete with this season.
Tulane is looking to avoid falling back to .500 on the season, but is coming off two straight wins over Alabama State and Northeastern in the Westin Holiday Classic. The Green Wave are 0-2 at neutral sites this season.
In a 65-62 win over Northeastern on Dec. 22 in the final game of the Westin Holiday Classic, the Green Wave held on down the stretch with clutch free throws in a game that saw neither team gain more than a five-point lead in the second half, which included eight lead changes. Jonathan Stark hit three of four field goals in the final 30 seconds of the game with Northeastern, as the freshman guard finished the game with 12 points, all in the second half. Sophomore guard Louis Dabney led all scorers with 20 points and added six assists.
Dabney leads the Green Wave in scoring, averaging 19.9 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the floor, but shoots just 30 percent from 3-point range. Stark complements Dabney well with his 17.6 points per game average, and is reliable from the line, averaging 80 percent from the charity stripe.
Freshman Marcus Foster leads the Wildcats in scoring with a 14.4. points per game average. He and junior Thomas Gipson each netted 14 points in the team's win over Gonzaga on Dec. 21. Gipson has reached double-digit point figures in seven of the team's last eight games, while Foster has scored double-digit points in 10 consecutive games. The Wildcats held the Zags to a season-low 62 points and forced a season-high 12 turnovers. The Wildcats committed a season- low four turnovers, which is the third-lowest team total in program history. Gipson also leads the team in rebounds, averaging 5.6 boards per game. As a team against Gonzaga, the Wildcats grabbed 10 offensive rebounds.
Kansas State is ranked 87th in the nation in rebounds per game, pulling down 38 boards per contest. The Wildcats will have to step up the scoring, though, if they want to keep pace with Tulane's 70.8 points per game pace. Kansas State averages 66.5 points per game, and has a 41.4 field-goal percentage. The Wildcats have scored 72 points in back-to-back games, however.
Dabney will have to be busy for the Green Wave against a solid Kansas State team that ranks ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score just 59.6 points per game.
The Sports Network predicted outcome: Kansas State 71, Tulane 60
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