Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Unbeaten Kansas State to face Rhode Island in tourney opener

Field Level Media
21 Nov 2022, 17:05 GMT+10

Kansas State will look to remain undefeated when it faces Rhode Island in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic on Monday in George Town.

The Wildcats (3-0) are coming off a 69-53 win over visiting Kansas City on Thursday. Rhode Island (1-2) defeated Stony Brook 74-64 in Kingston, R.I., on Tuesday for its first win of the season.

The Kansas State-Rhode Island winner will play the winner of Nevada-Tulane on Tuesday night, with the losers meeting earlier in the day.

"Why don't we try to make a statement?" said Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson, who averages a team-high 16 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. "We just need to keep playing the basketball we are playing as a team, getting better every day. So I feel like it's a great opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and play against different competition."

Johnson had 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals against the Roos. Cam Carter finished with a career-high 16 points, which included him going 4-for-7 from deep, while Desi Sills added 11 points and five assists.

The Wildcats shot 24-for-58 (41.4 percent) from the field, including 7-for-20 (35 percent) from beyond the arc, and were an impressive 14-for-17 at the free-throw line. Defensively, the Wildcats converted the Roos' 22 turnovers into 26 points.

After opening the season with close losses to Quinnipiac and Texas State, Rhode Island had four Rams score in double figures against Stony Brook.

Ishmael Leggett had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Louis Hutchinson finished with 15 points and three rebounds. Sebastian Thomas added 13 points and 10 assists, and Malik Martin chipped in 12 points.

"We're going to have a great opportunity in the Cayman Islands for unbelievable matchups," Rhode Island coach Archie Miller said.

"It doesn't matter who we play. I think every team in the Caymans has a chance to be an NCAA Tournament-type team. It doesn't matter the night you play -- you have to be ready. I'm anxious to see how competitive we are. I'm anxious to see us play with some spirit."

--Field Level Media

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