No. 9 Kansas State slows down No. 8 Creighton

Getty Images

Kansas State dictated the tempo and slowed down No. 9 seed Creighton as the Wildcats advanced in the NCAA tournament with a 69-59 win over the Bluejays on Friday night in the South Region.

Holding Creighton’s high-octane offense to only 26 percent (9-for-34) three-point shooting, Kansas State (23-11) jumped out to an early lead and did a good job of maintaining control throughout the game. While the Bluejays made mini runs when they could knock down three-pointers, they couldn’t string together enough possessions to make it a game.

Barry Brown (18 points), Mike McGuirl (17 points) and Kamau Stokes (11 points) led the charge for the Kansas State offense. The trio were among six Wildcats who made three-pointers as Kansas State shot 47 percent (9-for-19) from three-point range.

Creighton (21-12) couldn’t get it going on offense as senior guard Marcus Foster struggled against his former team. A guard at Kansas State his first two seasons, and later dismissed by head coach Bruce Weber, Foster was limited to five points on 2-for-12 shooting after averaging 20 points per game during the season.

Without Foster playing well, the rest of Creighton’s offense struggled to produce. The Bluejays were led by Mitchell Ballock (16 points), Toby Hegner (12 points) and Davion Mintz (10 points) on offense. Shooting a season-low 33 percent (23-for-68) from the field, Creighton never seemed to click in this one. Creighton lost three straight games to end the season as they struggled down the stretch.

Kansas State advances to play the winner over No. 1 seed Virginia and No. 16 UMBC in the second round in the South Region.