I. Renko is a DC-based correspondent for Rush the Court. You can follow him on twitter @IRenkoHoops. He filed this report after Saturday’s game between Kansas State and George Washington.
Kansas State improved to 7-1 on the season on Saturday, in a thrilling 65-62 win over George Washington that was not decided until Dwayne Smith missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer. The Wildcats overcame a poor shooting performance, in which they shot 35.7% from the field and 56.3% from the free throw line. So how did they win? The way they’ve been doing it for the past six years: by dominating the offensive glass. “If you told me we were going to hold them to 35% shooting, I thought we could win the game, but the killer was offensive rebounds,” GW head coach Mike Lonergan explained afterwards. “We just gave them too many second chance opportunities.”
The Wildcats set the tone early, scoring their first six points on second chance put-backs by forward Nino Williams. They would go on to rebound almost as many of their misses as George Washington did, posting a remarkable 49% offensive rebounding percentage. In fact, the Wildcats actually had more offensive than defensive rebounds in the game — 24 to 22. As a result, they had 17 more field goal attempts than George Washington, an edge that mitigated their poor shooting. If you keep throwing the ball up, sooner or later it’s gonna go in. And the Wildcats’ rebounding performance was not the result of a weak opponent. In the eight games they played before Saturday, the Colonials had not allowed an opponent to rebound more than a third of their misses.