Diarra, Mawien lead K-State past North Dakota State
Cartier Diarra had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists, Makol Mawien had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kansas State beat North Dakota State 67-54 in a season opener on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats took the floor in Manhattan for the first time since winning the Big 12 regular-season championship last season.
The Bison, whose season ended in a second-round loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament last year, gave the Wildcats all they could handle while leading the majority of the first half.
Rocky Kreuser led the Bison with 14 points and Tyson Ward had 12.
North Dakota State went to the line 25 times, shooting 64%. The Bison kept it close by hitting eight three-pointers, just short of their 9.5 makes per game last season.
The Wildcats proved to be no match for the Bison in the paint, scoring 34 points from inside and holding North Dakota State to 14.
Already up by five, the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run in the second half to extend their lead and never looked back.
North Dakota State brings back most of its scoring from a team that went to the NCAA Tournament last year. Don't be surprised if they are playing on the big stage again this season.
The Wildcats are a much different team than they were last year. K-State will lean on Sneed and Diarra to carry the load.
North Dakota State hosts Mayville State for their home opener at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Kansas State travels to UNLV on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip-off.