Nowell, Johnson Star as K-State Clips Nevada, 96-87, in OT

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Seniors Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson combined for 57 points, including 14 of the team’s 16 points in overtime, to help lift Kansas State to the championship game of the Cayman Islands Classic with a 96-87 victory over Nevada on Tuesday night in front of 1,200 fans at The John Gray Gym.

K-State (5-0) will play LSU (5-0) in the championship game on Wednesday night at 6:30 PM, CT. It will be the first Championship game since winning the 2019 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, USVI

After the Wildcats gave up a 9-point lead with less than 4 minutes to play to reach 80-78 with 14 seconds left in regulation, Nowell drove the track and was able to convert into a layup in traffic to force the extension by 11 seconds. The momentum carried the team into overtime as they dominated the game, connecting 83.3 percent (5-of-6) from the field and making 6 of their 10 free throws.

Junior David N’Guessan gave K-State the lead in overtime for good with a driving layup with 3:48 to play, which was followed by a jumper and Johnson free throw for an 87-82 lead. After the Wolf Pack (5-1) got to possession after a few free throws passed Kenan BlackshearNowell was on fire offensively, converting on a 3-point play and a jumper to push the advantage to 92-84 with 1:24 left.

Johnson and Nowell finished it off with a pair of free throws in the last 37 seconds.

Nowell (29) and Johnson (28) 57 combined points were the most by any Wildcat teammates since Dan Wade (34) and Kamau Stokes (23) also combined for 57 points in Iowa State win on Dec. 29, 2017.

Nowell finished with 29 points on 10-of-20 field goals, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, and 7-of-9 free throws and 11 assists in 41 minutes to become just the fifth Wildcat with a 20-point /10-assist game in the school’s history and the first since Angel Rodriguez had 21 points and 10 assists vs. TCU on March 5, 2013.

Johnson posted a career-high with 28 points on 8 of 13 field goals, including 2 of 3 from outside the arc, and 10 of 11 free throws to earn his ninth career high of 20 points and his first at K-state .

On the opening possession, Nowell put down his 500e career help on a feed to Johnson and become one of 2 active Division I players (Tennessee State’s Junior clay) with at least 1,000 career points, 500 assists, and 200 steals.

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