FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Nate Kennell scored 22 points and Bradley beat Kansas State 73-60 as 2019 NCAA Tournament teams met in the third-place game of the second annual Fort Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday night.
Kennell made 6 of 8 3-pointers for the Braves (5-2) and Darrell Brown, who made 4 of 8 behind the arc, added 15 points.
Kansas State didn’t score for the first 6:09 of the second half to fall behind 44-37. The Wildcats never could catch up.
Xavier Sneed led the Wildcats (4-2) with 15 points and Cartier Diarra and Shaun Williams both added 10 points.
After strongly criticizing his team’s play in a 78-51 loss to Northwestern on Monday, Brian Wardle saw his Braves get off to another great start by going up 14-6 early.
However, when Kansas State made a 19-9 run to go up 25-23, Bradley didn’t back down and led 38-37 at halftime.
Bradley: The Braves, who brought in nine players from a team that gave Michigan State all it could handle in the NCAAs, had the kind of bounce-back effort that will make it a factor in the Missouri Valley Conference
Kansas State: The Wildcats, who didn’t have Montavious Murphy (knee) for the tournament, struggled inside and went into scoring lulls. Those are areas they’ll have to improve on if they want to avoid a ninth-place predicted finish in the Big 12.
Wisconsin, Butler, Colorado and South Florida will play in the 2020 Fort Myers Tip-Off.
Wisconsin made Final Four trips in 2014 and 2015 and Butler reached the national semifinals in 2010 and 2011.
Next season will be Year 3 of the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Boston College won the inaugural event.
Kansas State will return home on Monday to play Florida A&M.
Bradley will travel to No. 16 Memphis on Tuesday.