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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Sandwiched between two road games against Power Five teams, Kansas State players recognized there was potential for a letdown against Coppin State.
The Wildcats ran away with the game in convincing fashion, as they continue to make a statement early in the 2015-16 season.
Justin Edwards and Wesley Iwundu scored 14 points each, and Kansas State cruised past Coppin State 83-58 on Wednesday night.
"You have to be mature and prepare for it the same as you do any other game," Iwundu said. "We did a good job of that today. We got off to a great start, but we slowed down. But you just have to be consistent with it."
Dean Wade and Stephen Hurt scored 12 points apiece and Austin Budke added 11 to round out a balanced effort for the Wildcats (7-1), who are off to their best start since the 2012-13 season.
"Our older guys have been very, very consistent," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "The young guys have kind of tagged along with them and done their thing."
Kansas State never trailed, building a 13-point halftime lead that grew to 66-44 on an emphatic, one-handed dunk by Iwundu in transition with 8:01 left in the game.
Terry Harris Jr. scored nine of his 14 points in the first half to lead Coppin State (2-7). James Sylvester added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Christian Kessee had 11 points.
Coppin State was 8 of 34 from the field in the second half and shot 29 percent overall, including 2 of 21 from 3-point range.
"For us to go into a ballgame and shoot less than 30 percent and less than 10 percent from 3, we are not going to win a lot of ballgames that way," Eagles coach Michael Grant said.
Kansas State rattled off eight straight points to take a 29-17 lead early in the game. Edwards nailed back-to-back 3-pointers during the run and later assisted on an alley-oop to Iwundu.
The Eagles kept it close and pulled within single digits twice in the first half but hit just one field goal in the final 3:37. Kansas State went on a 9-2 run during that span to take a 42-29 lead into the locker room.
Coppin State started the second half by making just four of its first 23 shots as Kansas State broke it open. Kansas State went to its bench to finish off the final five minutes of the game, closing the game with 22 assists on 28-made field goals.
"We've been a team," Weber said. "We had five guys in double figures. That's been our strength, and if we're going to continue to make progress that's got to continue to be the thing that carries us."
AMONG THE BEST
Edwards is one of only nine players nationally to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played this season. Through eight games, Edwards is averaging 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have won their last seven meetings against Coppin State by an average of 20 points. . Wade was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday after scoring 17 points, including the game-winning jumper, in a road win against Georgia.
Coppin State: The Eagles feature nine newcomers after finishing 8-23 last season. . Including Wednesday, the Eagles will play six of their next seven games on the road.
Kansas State travels to Texas A&M on Saturday.
Coppin State faces Fordham on Sunday.
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