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Big First-Half Carries K-State to 77-57 Win Over Rhode Island

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Via K-State Athletics

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Kansas State once again used a huge first-half performance to carry itself to victory, as the Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic with a 77-57 win over Rhode Island on Monday night before 1,256 fans at The John Gray Gym.

K-State (4-0) will take on Nevada (5-0) in the semifinals round on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m., CT.

The Wildcats, who remained unbeaten under first-year head coach Jerome Tang, scored 44 points in the first half on a blistering 58.1 percent (18-of-31) shooting to build as much as a 21-point lead. On the defensive end, the Rams (1-3) were held to 31.3 percent (10-of-32) shooting, including 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from 3-point range.

Although the second half was plagued by a combined 23 turnovers, including 13 by K-State, the lead never dipped below 15 points, and grew to many as 24 in the waning minutes.

Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin led a balanced attack with 15 points, including 13 in the first half, while senior Keyontae Johnson and junior David N’Guessan added 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Senior Markquis Nowell, who narrowly missed a double-double, dished out 12 assists to go with 9 points and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes. The 12 assists tied for the fourth-most in a single game in school history and the most since Steve Henson collected 12 assists against Oklahoma State on Feb. 25, 1989. It was one assist shy of Nowell’s career-high of 13 that he accomplished twice while playing at Little Rock.

Nowell now has posted 9 career games of at least 10 assists, which includes 4 at K-State. The 12 assists gave him 499 in his career, as he closes on being one of just two active Division I players (Tennessee State’s Junior Clay) with 1,300 points, 500 assists and 200 steals.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
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.

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