MANHATTAN, Kan. — North Dakota State led Kansas State by one point at halftime of Tuesday's opener. The Bison hung tough with the defending Big 12 regular-season co-champions well into the second half. But when the clock struck zero at Bramlage Coliseum, NDSU walked off the court on the wrong side of a 67-54 decision in Division I nonconference men's basketball.

The numbers for the Bison (0-1) were startlingly similar half to half. They shot 28% (7 of 25) in the opening 20 minutes, and 29.6% (8-for-27) after halftime. But the shots that figured so prominently in the first half — the 3-ball — didn't mean as much down the stretch.

Though NDSU only went 5-for-17 from beyond the new, international-length 3-point line in the first half, it was a scorching total compared to K-State (1-0), which missed 11 of its 12 triples.

To begin the contest, however, North Dakota State couldn't buy a shot. The Bison missed layups. They missed jumpers inside the arc. They missed from behind the 3-point line. But at the 16 minutes, 32 seconds mark of the half, junior forward Rocky Kreuser got NDSU on the board, knocking down a triple. The Bison were off and running. And the good news for them?

While NDSU started 0-for-7 from the field, K-State couldn't score either, holding just a 5-0 lead prior to Kreuser's trey. It was North Dakota State's ability to take advantage of the lines — the free throw and the 3-point — that was the difference early on.

While the Wildcats shot better from the field (37.5 to 33.3%) and made more shots overall (10 to 7). NDSU's makes simply were more valuable; aside from its advantage from beyond the 3-point arc, it also held the advantage at the free throw line, going 3-for-8 compared to the Wildcats, who missed both of their attempts.

When the teams returned to the court for the second half, however, K-State started to exert its will, particularly its upperclassmen trio: junior guard Cartier Diarra (23 points) and seniors Makol Mawien (15) and Xavier Sneed (nine) combined for more than 70% of the team's total points Tuesday. Kreuser led the way for the Bison, scoring 14 points.

Tyson Ward (12 points) was the only other NDSU player to finish in double figures.

NDSU now returns to Fargo for its home opener, which comes Thursday against Mayville State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Scheels Center.

NDSU (0-1): Shahid 2-12 2-2 8, Samuelson 2-4 0-0 5, Ward 3-8 5-8 12, Kreuser 4-10 2-4 14, Griesel 2-7 4-7 8, Quayle 0-2 0-0 0, Hunter 0-3 0-0 0, Harden 0-0 0-0 0, Eady 1-5 2-2 4, Wilson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 15-52 (FG), 16-25 (FT).

KSU (1-0): McGuirl 1-3 0-0 3, Mawien 6-12 2-4 15, Diarra 8-21 5-5 23, Sneed 4-11 0-0 9, Murphy 1-2 0-1 2, Gordon 0-2 0-0 0, Gordon 2-2 0-0 5, Stockard 3-4 2-2 8, Slaon 1-4 0-2 2. Totals: 26-61 (FG), 9-14 (FT).

Halftime: NDSU 22, KSU 21. Total fouls: NDSU 18, KSU 16. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: NDSU 8-30 (Shahid 2-8, Samuelson 1-3, Ward 1-2, Kreuser 4-7), KSU 6-21 (McGuirl 1-3, Mawien 1-1, Diarra 2-8, Sneed 1-5, Gordon 1-1). Rebounds: NDSU 39 (Griesel 9, Ward 7, Shahid 7), KSU 39 (Mawien 10). Assists: NDSU 10 (Shahid 4), KSU 14 (Diarra 6). Turnovers: NDSU 8 (Shahid 3), KSU 6 (Gordon 3). A—8,145.