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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — One of the most important things that Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber talks about is guys getting in the gym and working. Kama Stokes has heeded that advice and more this season, and it's paying off.
Stokes scored 17 points with five 3-pointers and the Wildcats cruised past SC Upstate 86-49 on Tuesday night.
Stokes said looking at film in preparation for the game helped a lot.
"We watched video, knew where the open shots were going to be and took advantage of that opportunity." Stokes said. "Everybody was making shots, and when you get good movement on offense, shots fall."
Barry Brown scored 15 points with four assists, Dean Wade added 13 points with seven rebounds, and the Wildcats (8-1) made 12 3-pointers and shot 50.8 percent from the floor.
Stokes hit two 3s in Kansas State's opening 24-2 run and the Wildcats at one point shot 88 percent from the field to the Spartans' 14 percent.
"It was fun," Brown said. "I feel like it's more fun when we get the lead and at the end we can get the other guys in, and let them see what it's like to get out the court."
The slow start wasn't new for the Spartans and it was a major talking point after the game.
"We had a lot of trouble guarding the 3-point line," SC Upstate coach Kyle Perry said. "We have to improve in our matchup zone and not allow open shots. We did a better job over the second half. We made some adjustments and improved."
Kansas State outrebounded SC Upstate 35-25 and used their length and strong defensive play to take the Spartans out of their rhythm. The Spartans managed to get their offense going late in the first half but they trailed 43-23 at halftime.
Perry said he was impressed by the Kansas State defense but at the same time found a way to be encouraged by the development of his young players despite the loss.
"They (Kansas State) switch everything and do a good job of that." Perry said. "They are long, athletic and physical, so it is tough. We are still working two freshman posts. So we are trying to get them going and get the ball inside. I think if we continue to work we will be all right down the road."
Malik Moore scored 16 points and Carson Smith had 11 for the Spartans (3-8), who shot 36.5 percent from the floor and made just three free throws
In a game that easily could've been a trap game for Kansas State, coming off of a close win on the road at Vanderbilt, the Wildcats came out hot while Upstate struggled to get in gear. Kansas State continues to gather momentum despite the caliber of opponent. Games against Tulsa and Washington State will give the Wildcats a healthy test before they open up Big 12 play.
USC Upstate: USC-Upstate travels to face Denver on Dec. 9.
Kansas State: Kansas State hosts Tulsa in Wichita Dec. 9.
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