Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kansas State's Athleticism Too Much for SLU

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kansas State's Athleticism Too Much for SLU

Article excerpt

The changes in the starting lineup that Travis Ford hinted could take place didn't materialize Saturday night. At least not until the second half.

Options being limited, he stuck with the same five that at least put the Billikens into position to win four of their first six games, even if he was left nearly at a loss for words after the last game.

What Ford did change was his defensive approach, hitting Kansas State with a zone from the opening tip at Chaifetz Arena. He tightened his rotation early while giving additional minutes to some of his reserves.

But none of it was enough to neutralize a couple of St. Louis natives, who started fast and completed big games to lead the Wildcats to a 84-53 win.

D.J. Johnson (Parkway North) dominated the game inside, finishing with his second career double-double on 21 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Xavier Sneed (Hazelwood Central) came off the bench to contribute 15 points with four 3-pointers, one of which he converted into a four-point play.

SLU (2-5) suffered its fourth consecutive loss with a trip to Wichita State on Tuesday next on the schedule.

Ford changed things up for the start of the second half, inserting freshmen Zeke Moore and Jalen Johnson in place of senior Mike Crawford and sophomore Jermaine Bishop. But the Billikens had no answers.

They committed two shot-clock violations in the opening minutes and Kansas State (7-1) then went on a 12-3 run that ended any thought of a SLU challenge.

Johnson made a mini hook along the baseline to start things and the Wildcats pushed the tempo while extending the lead continually during the second half.

Kansas State's athleticism was too much for the Billikens. The Wildcats pushed the tempo and scored 19 fast-break points and registered nine dunks, including four by Johnson, who made his first 10 shots.

The Wildcats controlled the lane, scoring 48 points inside while holding SLU to 16. …

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