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Kansas State gets season-opening 85-52 victory over North Dakota
spt ap KState Bball
Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson (42) and North Dakota guard Jordan Allard vie for a rebound during an NCAA basketball game on Friday night in Manhattan. - photo by The Associated Press

MANHATTAN — Bruce Weber now has his debut out of the way.
The first-year Kansas State coach started his tenure with an 85-52 victory over North Dakota on Friday night.
Angel Rodriguez and Thomas Gipson each scored 13 points as Kansas State won its 10th straight season opener.
Weber had taken the floor in front of the home crowd in Bramlage Coliseum twice already in exhibition games against Washburn and Emporia State, but that did not detract from the thrill of coaching his first regular season game.
“It’s still the real thing,” Weber said. “Obviously exhibitions don’t count on the record, so you’re excited. I hope the kids are excited. We talked about energy, enthusiasm, playing at a high level.”
The coach said after the Wildcats’ second exhibition game that he thought the team came out flat, but he was satisfied with the intensity on Friday.
A veteran North Dakota team gave the Wildcats all they could handle in the first half and trailed just 36-27 at halftime, but Kansas State widened the gap quickly after the break.
“Our physicality, our depth just kind of took a toll on them,” Weber said.
The Wildcats outscored North Dakota in the paint 30-28, but Kansas State also picked up fouls down low and scored 20 points at the free throw line.
“Kansas State to me was a two-point field goal type team,” said North Dakota coach Brian Jones. “They were going to throw it inside early and often, and they did exactly that.”
“It really wore us out in the second half,” Jones said.
The Wildcats shot 35.3 percent from the field in the first half and 53.1 percent in the second half, beginning with eight straight points from Rodriguez to begin the second half. He sank a pair of 3-pointers and sliced into the lane for a layup.
“I think that really sparked them,” Jones said. “We felt if we could make them a jump shooting team we’d at least have a shot, but in the second half they were making their jump shots.”
Rodriguez’s first 3 gave the Wildcats their first double-digit lead of the game. After his scoring flurry, Kansas State got comfortable in the paint, getting buckets there from Will Spradling, Gipson and Rodney McGruder in addition to a couple of free throws. Seven minutes into the second half, the Wildcats led 54-36.
Consecutive three-pointers by Martavious Irving began a 22-4 run for Kansas State. The Wildcats led by 33 with less than four minutes remaining.
Improved shooting from 3-point range helped the Wildcats pull away. They made just one of nine attempts in the first half but drained six after halftime — three from Rodriguez and three from Irving.
“I think we took better shots,” Weber said. “We adjusted on the ball screens, we got it to (Irving) on a couple flares, got some penetrate-and-kicks, then we made some open shots, and now it opens up the inside, and we’ve done a great job of rebounding on the offensive glass the last couple weeks.”
Midway through the first half, 11 Kansas State players had gotten into the game.


At Manhattan
Bramlage Coliseum


Kansas State 85, North Dakota 52
    Allard 3-7 1-2 8, Brekke 3-4 0-0 6, Anderson 1-12 4-4 6, Huff 4-15 3-4 12, Webb 1-4 0-0 2, Antwi 1-3 0-0 2, Wilmer 2-4 1-3 5, Schuler 1-5 2-2 4, Archer 0-2 0-0 0, Traylor 3-7 1-2 7. Totals 19-63 12-17 52.
    Williams 1-3 1-2 3, Henriquez 4-7 0-0 8, Rodriguez 5-11 0-0 13, McGruder 3-12 0-2 6, Spradling 3-5 4-4 10, Southwell 4-5 0-0 9, Irving 4-9 0-0 11, Lawrence 1-2 3-4 5, Diaz 0-5 3-4 3, Schultz 0-1 0-0 0, Gipson 3-4 7-10 13, Orris 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 29-66 20-28 85.
    Halftime — Kansas State 36-27. Three-point goals — North Dakota 2-18 (Allard 1-3, Huff 1-3, Webb 0-1, Antwi 0-2, Schuler 0-3, Anderson 0-6), Kansas State 7-24 (Rodriguez 3-7, Irving 3-8, Southwell 1-1, Schultz 0-1, Williams 0-1, Spradling 0-1, Lawrence 0-1, McGruder 0-4). Rebounds — North Dakota 35 (Traylor 7), Kansas State 48 (Johnson 9). Assists — North Dakota 7 (Antwi 3), Kansas State 16 (Irving, McGruder, Southwell, Spradling 3). Total fouls — North Dakota 25, Kansas State 18.