A 19-0 run in the early minutes of Tuesday's exhibition opener paved the way for an 81-61 Kansas State victory over Washburn University at Bramlage Coliseum.
Leading 3-2 early, the Wildcats hit eight consecutive shots, which included two treys from Rodney McGruder and another from Will Spradling as the lead zoomed to 22-2, seven minutes into the game. During the flurry McGruder netted six, Will Spradling five, Jordan Henriquez four and Nino Williams four.
"We were shutting them down and pushing the ball," first-year coach Bruce Weber said of the flurry, which included five Washburn turnovers. "We were playing with some great energy."
Weber added, "We challenged them to come ready to play. I thought we played with great energy. We got the 20-point lead and finished with a 20-point lead."
The Ichabods, ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division II polls, rallied to pull within 12, 32-20, with just under five minutes to go in the half. Shooting 55 percent from the field and outrebounding the visitors 25-16, K-State rallied to pull out to a 44-25 lead by intermission.
Weber said that Washburn's comeback came because "... we had a stretch where we made one pass and took a shot that didn't go in, plus we didn't have good rebounding balance. We want to push it, but we also want to play smart."
Shooting 51 percent as a team, the Wildcats led by as many as 29 points before finishing with the 81-61 victory with Williams (14), Henriquez (13), McGruder (10) and Johnson (10) contributing twin figures.
On K-State's inside scoring, Weber said, "We thought we could exploit our length with an inside presence, and I thought we did that."
Of Johnson, a freshman responding with 10 points and seven rebounds, Weber admitted, "We would have liked to have redshirted DJ, but not with the way he played in Brazil and how he runs the court, plays every possession and listens."
• Starting for K-State were Angel Rodriguez, Will Spradling, Rodney McGruder, Adrian Diaz and Jordan Henriquez. The first five off the bench were Shane Southwell, Martavious Irving, Nino Williams, Omari Lawrence and D.J. Johnson.
• Nine Wildcats played between 16 and 22 minutes.
• The Wildcats handed out 19 assists that led to 29 field goals.
• K-State shot a chilly 54 percent from the foul line - 18 of 33 - and only 28 percent from 3-point range (5-of-18).
UP NEXT: Kansas State will play on Sunday in its final exhibition game of the year against Emporia State. That game will have a 1 p.m., tipoff.
Regular season play will then begin on Friday, Nov. 9, in an 8 p.m., start against North Dakota.