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NCAAB: K-State faces Green Bay, hopes to bounce back from close loss

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With a heartbreaking one-point loss to Marquette fresh on their minds, Kansas State returns to action Sunday with another guest from the state of Wisconsin as Green Bay travels to Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas State (5-3) trailed by seven points late in Wednesday’s game before cutting Marquette’s lead to 64-63 with 15 seconds remaining. The Wildcats grabbed a Marquette miss and moved the ball upcourt with a chance for the win, but Ismael Massoud had his shot blocked at the rim.

“Obviously, it hurts,” Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said after the game. “I thought we played well at times, and then at other times we’ve got to get a little more mature and not try to win the game by ourselves.”

Kansas State played its second straight game without leading scorer Nijel Pack, who was out with a concussion. It hasn’t been announced if Pack will be able to play Sunday.

“Obviously, missing Nijel doesn’t help,” Weber said. “Selton (Miguel) strained his knee yesterday. I didn’t think he would play, but he gave it a go. He didn’t have the pop that he needed, so we’ve got to get healthy and get a couple guys back and then continue to make strides and get better.”

In Pack’s absence, Markquis Nowell has stepped up, scoring 27 points over the two games. Against Marquette, Nowell and fellow transfers Massoud and Mark Smith combined for 44 of Kansas State’s 63 points.

Green Bay (2-7) is led by Emmanuel Ansong (13.1 points per game) and Donovan Ivory (11.0). The Phoenix have struggled, losing five straight to open the season. They won two in a row before losing their last two games.

The Phoenix fell at Kansas City 64-55 on Friday night despite 19 points from Kamari McGee.

Coach Will Ryan, the son of legendary Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, is in his second year with the Phoenix.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to come back to my home state of Wisconsin and join a great university,” Ryan said at his introductory press conference. “I look forward to building a program with a group of hard-working student-athletes who are proud to represent Green Bay.”

–Field Level Media

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