Diarra’s 25 Helps K-State to 84-68 Win Over No. 12 West Virginia

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Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics

Cartier Diarra scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, and K-State fought off a second half push by West Virginia to earn an 84-68 victory over the No. 12 Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon.

K-State (8-9, 1-4 Big 12) took a 42-25 advantage to the break. DaJuan Gordon and Xavier Sneed combined for 25 points in the opening 20 minutes, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor in the process. The Cats shot 15-of-26 overall and 5-of-8 from deep, and the defense was equally impressive. West Virginia was just 11-of-30 from the floor and 1-of-10 from long range in the opening half, and K-State forced 13 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

The Cats built their largest lead of the day (53-29) with 14:39 remaining in the game, but the Mountaineers responded. The visitors used a 15-0 run to cut into the deficit. Diarra briefly silenced the run with a make from deep, but West Virginia pulled within six at the under-8 timeout. That’s as close as the Mountaineers would get, however, as K-State pushed the lead back to double digits with a 9-0 run of their own.

Sneed and Gordon joined Diarra in double figures with 16 and 15, respectively. David Sloan added nine points, five assists and four steals.

Chase Harler (11), Miles McBride (11) and Gabe Osabuohien (10) scored in double figures for West Virginia. The Mountaineers dropped to 14-3 (3-2 Big 12).

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.