Johnson returns 2 years after collapse as K-State romps

Nov 7, 2022, 7:36 AM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 7:59 am
Kansas State's Keyontae Johnson (11) drives under pressure from Washburn's Zaid Dajani during the s...

Kansas State's Keyontae Johnson (11) drives under pressure from Washburn's Zaid Dajani during the second half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

              Kansas State's Keyontae Johnson (11) drives under pressure from Washburn's Zaid Dajani during the second half of an exhibition NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State center Abayomi Iyiola (23) looks to shoot under pressure from Texas-Rio Grande Valley forward John Shanu II, left, and guard Adante' Holiman (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin (35) celebrates after making a basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin (35) dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell (1) looks to shoot under pressure from Texas-Rio Grande Valley forward Dima Zdor (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State guard Desi Sills (13) shoots over Texas-Rio Grande Valley guard Adante' Holiman (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson, left, and Texas-Rio Grande Valley forward Daylen Williams chase a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang talks to his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State forward Ismael Massoud dunks the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell (1) shoots under pressure from Texas-Rio Grande Valley forward Alex Horiuk (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State guard Cam Carter (5) drives under pressure from Texas-Rio Grande Valley guard Will Johnston (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
            
              Kansas State forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin (35) gets past Texas-Rio Grande Valley forward Ahren Freeman to put up a shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Keyontae Johnson scored 13 points in his first real action since collapsing during a game nearly two years ago, and Kansas State opened the season under new coach Jerome Tang with a 93-59 romp over UT Rio Grande Valley on Monday night.

Nae’Qwan Tomlin and Markquis Nowell led the Wildcats with 14 points apiece.

Tang took over the Wildcats’ program after serving as an assistant to Scott Drew at Baylor from 2003-22.

Johnson, the Southeastern Conference’s preseason player of the year in 2020, transferred to Kansas State this summer after four years at Florida. He spent the past two recovering from a suspected heart condition that caused him to crash to the floor while coming out of a timeout during a game in December 2020.

Johnson received medical clearance to play at Kansas State, something that wasn’t going to happen at Florida.

Johnson spent most of the past two seasons cheering on teammates from the bench as he remained enrolled in school and on scholarship.

He did take the court for a ceremonial few dribbles and a farewell on senior night against Kentucky in March.

But he was full go Monday night and hit three 3-pointers in the lopsided opener.

Nowell sank all three of his 3s and added seven assists and four steals for the Wildcats, who made 12 of 27 from beyond the arc (44.4%). Tomlin added a team-high eight rebounds.

Abayomi Iyiola finished with 12 points, while fellow reserves Ismael Massoud and Desi Sills scored 10 each.

Justin Johnson totaled 20 points to lead the Vaqueros. Freshman Adante’ Holiman came off the bench to score 13.

The Wildcats scored 31 points off 26 Vaquero turnovers. UTRGV struggled from 3-point range, making 4 of 15.

___

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Johnson returns 2 years after collapse as K-State romps