MANHATTAN — As good as Kansas State's exhibition opener against Emporia State was five nights previous, the follow-up pushed the other end of the spectrum.
Certainly not what Bruce Weber had in mind for his Wildcats.
"It wasn't pretty. It was disappointing, but hopefully a learning lesson for our guys," Weber said after the Wildcats needed a strong finish to pull away for a 66-56 victory over Washburn at Bramlage Coliseum. "We never could get a rhythm, whether we missed free throws, we turned it over (or) took a quick shot.
"And then obviously (Washburn) spread us out and went small ball and put us in a bind. But we felt we needed to play some of the young guys."
Weber spread the minutes between veterans and rookies, with nine different players logging 12 or more and only seniors Xavier Sneed and Makol Mawien logging more than 30.
It showed on the court, where the Wildcats needed a nine-point run midway through the second half to take the lead for good and an 8-0 spurt shortly thereafter to push it to double digits.
"I'm proud of our guys," Washburn coach Brett Ballard said of the Ichabods' first outing. "I thought we came in and played hard."
The also threw a little scare into the Wildcats, tying the game at 39 on Tyler Geiman's 3-pointer with 13:46 left — one of 14 makes from behind the arc for the — before K-State's first pivotal run.
"You come into these exhibition games and there's two objectives," Ballard said. "Obviously we want our team to get better and compete — learn from this, grow from this. But we obviously understand the other side of it and we're trying to help K-State prepare for their season.
"I don't want to put words in coach Weber's mouth. I'm sure he wasn't extremely pleased about how they played, but hopefully we had a little bit to do with that."
K-State shot just 43.4 percent for the game, including 38.7 in the second half, but of greater concern was the 21 turnovers that led to 23 Washburn points.
"Those guys did a great job of scouting," Sneed said of Washburn. "They've got coaches that have been in the Big 12, coaches that have been around the block and they know us as well.
"They were just in the gaps and we triple penetrated too much sometimes and got too deep and lost the ball."
The Wildcats did get a big game from Mawien in the middle with a team-high 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting and nine rebounds.
"My teammates did a great job getting me the ball and I was in the right place to score — credit them — and I got going early. I stayed on it and kept playing strong in the post and let the game come to me."
Ballard was equally impressed with Mawien's post defense, which contributed to Washburn's 45 3-point attempts.
"I don't know what the record (is) for 3-point attempts in Bramlage Coliseum is, but we've got to be close. We've got to be up there," he said. "I don't know if our game plan was to shoot quite that many.
"We knew we were going to have to take more than normal because of their length inside. Makol does a great job of walling up and just protecting that rim."
The Ichabods hit enough threes, tying the Bramlage opponent exhibition record while the 45 attempts eclipsed the old mark by five.
Washburn's Kevin Biggs had five 3-pointers and led all scorers with 17 points. The Ichabods also got 13 points from Jalen Lewis and 12 from Tyler Geiman.
K-State dominated inside, outrebounding the Ichabods 52-30 for a 32-10 scoring advantage in the paint. They got 11 points and five rebounds off the bench from freshman Montavious Murphy, while Sneed had a solid second half to finish with 10 points and nine boards.
The Wildcats led 32-30 at halftime.
K-State finally broke a 39-all tie to go in front for good in the second period. Cartier Diarra's step-back 3-pointer pushed it to 46-39 and a Levi Stockard 15-footer with 10:15 left capped the run.
After a Biggs 3-pointer closed it back to 50-45, the Wildcats put it out of reach with six free throws and a Mawien layup to go up 13 and eventually stretched it to 15.
It was the final tune-up for the Wildcats, who play host to North Dakota State in their regular-season opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Washburn opens its regular season on Nov. 8 against Minnesota State.