Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Iwundu Leads Cats to Upset

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Iwundu Leads Cats to Upset

Article excerpt

Foul trouble early in the game limited Wesley Iwundu's playing time, so at halftime the Kansas State sophomore forward had a little talk with himself.

"I just told myself I had to come out in the second half and be aggressive," he said.

How aggressive?

Iwundu played shut-down defense on Georges Niang, he blocked four shots and he intercepted an Iowa State inbounds pass in the backcourt and drove in for a game-winning dunk with 16.4 seconds remaining as K-State beat the No. 12 Cyclones, 70-69, on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

"When Wes plays hard like that, he can give us something," Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said.

Iowa State inbounded the ball after calling a timeout -- Naz Long was granted the stoppage while sliding on the floor trying to control a loose-ball rebound -- with 18.4 seconds left. Iwundu stepped in front of the inbound pass and had an open lane to the basket for the dunk.

"The coaches told me to stay back and be the protector for the backcourt," Iwundu said, "but I saw everyone was in front so I just came up and made an adjustment and made a play and made a steal."

Iwundu, along with Nigel Johnson and Justin Edwards, enabled K- State (15-15, 8-9 Big 12) to erase a 12-point deficit midway through the second half and cap a week in which the Wildcats posted home wins over No. 8 Kansas and No. 12 Iowa State.

"This is the most interesting team I've played on," said Iwundu, who totaled 11 points, 3 assists and 1 steal. "It's the best week of the season."

Johnson backed up his 20-point game against KU with 17 points, a career-high 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Edwards had 16 points, 4 assists and 2 steals and Thomas Gipson added eight points and a season-high nine rebounds.

"I thought we needed an extra-special effort today," Weber said. "We weren't very good early. We turned it over, we got lost and didn't communicate and they got hot and hit 3s and got going in transition.

"Our guys kept battling and hanging in there. We made a bunch of plays."

The Cyclones (20-8, 10-6) knocked down 8 of 15 shots from 3- point range the first half. …

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