Nowell’s nerves of steel steers Kansas State

IN A thrilling finish to an exciting game, guard Markquis Nowell led the Kansas State Wildcats to the Sweet 16 in March Madness, as his side defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, 75-69 on Monday at Greensboro Coliseum.

Kentucky came in as underdogs against a higher seeded Kansas State side, but it was the latter who performed down the stretch. The victors delivered some impressive efforts in the second half after a tussle of an opening to the game. Despite a fair few factors going against it in the last 12 months, Kansas State has advanced to the Sweet 16, thanks to an emphatic performance from one key player.

Nowell was an exceptional factor in the second half of the match, delivering one of the most impactful performances in the tournament to date. The opposition had no answers for his dominant play after half time, and gave the rest of his team something to rally behind on the way to a six-point victory.

Kentucky Wildcats (69) def. by Kansas State Wildcats (75)

Markquis Nowell – 27 points, two rebounds, nine assists

Nowell was the man of the moment in the second half of the match, single-handedly flipping the momentum in his team’s favour with an outstanding offensive showing.

No one scored more than his 27 points, but it was the timely fashion in which he flicked the switch and took over the match with his outstanding shotmaking ability.

Impressively, 23 of his 27 points came in the second half, and in the context of the match, that period was the difference that separated the two teams when the game was on the line.

Behind Nowell’s terrific play, Kansas State overcame a tough start to the match to nail some clutch shots, including a pair of three-pointers down the stretch that ended up sealing the result in its favour.

As he has displayed in the past, Nowell was also an active playmaker, finding his teammates with smart dishes on the drive. As expected, the double teams came in the second half, but he still set up his teammates for some big shots in the most important time of the match. His vision has been a big weapon for his team for a while now, and it became even more dangerous when combined with his shotmaking.

Nowell was the best player on the court and the difference when it counted most, proving too much of a handful for the Kentucky defence.

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