Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State's Iwundu Locks Down Defensively on OU's Hield

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State's Iwundu Locks Down Defensively on OU's Hield

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- The challenge was thrown directly at Wesley Iwundu: Put the clamps on Buddy Hield.

Much like he did earlier in the season when he shut down Baylor guard Kenny Chery, Iwundu rose to the challenge to slow down Hield, a leading contender for Big 12 player of the year. Hield burned K- State for 31 points a month ago, but Iwundu limited the Oklahoma guard to 14 points in Kansas State's 59-56 victory Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum.

"I challenged him," K-State coach Bruce Weber said. "We watch a lot of film and Wes has been brought up many times, probably not in the best tone of voice. His reactions were much better. Wes made some reads on Buddy that I don't know he would have done earlier in the year."

The overall team defense was the type that K-State has relied on throughout the season, holding the No. 17 Sooners 17 points under their season average.

"We defended one of the best offensive teams in the country," Weber said. "To win a game and only shoot 26 percent and only have 13 field goals, especially against a top 20 team, that's not going to happen every day of the week. We got to the free throw line (28 of 36) and we attacked them, pushing when we could and make them accountable on defense.

"They got us in transition early and we settled down and started doing a better job. When we limited them to half-court, our guys made the next play on the defensive end. When they'd hedge a ball screen and kick it, the next guy came and the next guy came."

Hield made 5 of 12 shots, 2 of 5 on 3-pointers, and committed three turnovers.

"They called me out to step up to the task," Iwundu said. "Coming into the game, my whole mindset was to focus on defense, lock into him and make everything hard for him and it was successful."

Hield said, "They were hustling and they had the speed against us. …

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