Bills Drop Fourth Straight
ST. LOUIS(AP) — Kansas State forward D.J. Johnson was not perfect on Saturday night.
And that bothered him to no end.
Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Xavier Sneed added 15 points to lead Kansas State to an 84-53 win over Saint Louis in a non-conference contest.
The Wildcats won their second in a row following a 69-68 loss to Maryland on Nov. 26.
Saint Louis now has lost four in a row.
Johnson dominated inside, hitting his first 10 shots from the field on the way to a 10-for-11 effort. But all he wanted to talk about after the game was the one miss, a put back that clanked off the glass with 9:20 remaining and the game already decided.
“I missed a righty layup,” Johnson said. “It was right there. That should have been 11 (for 11). Saw the top of the square — just didn’t connect on it.”
Johnson, who had four of the Wildcats’ eight dunks, led an early charge that helped the Wildcats take immediate control as they bolted to leads of 24-13 and 36-21 and never looked back.
“It was a fun night for us,” coach Bruce Weber said. “I was happy with our kids; they were focused.”
Johnson, who grew up in a St. Louis suburb, posted his second career double-double in front of family and friends.
“This is a great experience,” Johnson said. “To do this in front of them, it’s special.”
Johnson pumped in a career-high 26 points in the loss to Maryland but spent much of last year at less than 100 percent after breaking his foot in the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
Weber says Johnson is now just returning to form.
“It’s been a rough 16 months, but he’s fought through it,” Weber said. “He’s getting paid back for his efforts.”
Sneed, also a St. Louis native, hit 4 three-pointers and scored all 15 points in just 15 minutes.
Kansas State (2-1) used a 23-9 run over the final 11 minutes of the first half to break the game open. The Wildcats jumped out to a 13-5 lead on back-to-back baskets by Johnson. Sneed sank a pair of three-pointers midway through the half to pump the lead to 18-10.
“We kind of got stuck with that deer-in-the-headlights look early in the game,” Billikens coach Travis Ford said.
Dean Wade added 13 points for Kansas State. Kamau Stokes had seven assists.
Davell Roby and Mike Crawford added 10 points each for the Billikens.
“We’re just not playing well together right now,” Ford said. “Our chemistry is not very good.”
Jermaine Bishop led Saint Louis with 11 points.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have scored 80 or more points in five of seven wins. They have hit seven or more three-pointers in five games.
Johnson passed the 20-point mark for the fourth time in his career, but this was the first time the Wildcats came out on top.
Saint Louis: Ford, who coached at Oklahoma State, is 7-10 lifetime against Kansas State.
“We just couldn’t put any runs together,” he said.