Cats claw out a win

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LETTERS - By KEL­LIS ROBI­NETT

It isn’t pretty, but No. 6 Kansas State over­comes a ter­ri­ble shoot­ing start and beats Mis­souri 63-53.

With a fi­nal score of 63-53, it’s easy to tell Kansas State’s victory over Mis­souri on Satur­day at Bram­lage Coli­seum was not a beau­ti­ful game to watch.

There were plenty of fouls, loads of turnovers and enough missed shots to make every­one in the build­ing groan.

But the Wild­cats have never been big on style points, and that didn’t change af­ter this hard-fought af­fair.

With so much was on the line, how could it?

The victory al­lowed six­thranked K-State, 24-4 over­all and 11-3 in the Big 12, to take a big step to­ward se­cur­ing at least the No. 2 seed in the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment and keep alive its hopes of shar­ing a reg­u­lar sea­son Big 12 cham­pi­onship with Kansas, which suf­fered its first league loss Satur­day at Ok­la­homa State.

A trip Wed­nes­day to Allen Field­house is next on the sched­ule, and a win there will give the Wild­cats le­git­i­mate hope of ty­ing the Jay­hawks with an­other victory in the sea­son fi­nale against Iowa State.

Coach Frank Martin knew all that was on the line be­fore the game started, and for that rea­son he la­beled the show­down the big­gest game he’d been a part of at K-State.

Lead­ing scorer Ja­cob Pullen was also amped up for the game, say­ing that aveng­ing a loss at the beginning of Big 12 play was a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for the Wild­cats.

Added up, per­haps that was too much for K-State to think about early on. The Wild­cats be­gan the game out of sync and un­able to find the bot­tom of the net. Or per­haps both teams were sim­ply go­ing too hard at the beginning.

The game started in ugly fash­ion for both sides.

At the first me­dia timeout, Mis­souri, 21-8 and 9-5, held a 7-5 lead, and nei­ther team added much to that to­tal for the next few min­utes. With 7:30 re­main­ing in the first half, Mis- souri led 16-8 and K-State had missed all but two of its 20 shots from the field. At one point the Wild­cats missed 16 straight.

The Tigers took ad­van­tage as best they could and built a 23-13 lead when Keith Ram­sey sank two free throws.

From then on, though, KS­tate found a bit of an of­fen­sive groove. The Wild­cats still strug­gled to score at their nor­mal, high-paced clip, but a 10-0 run at the end of the first half tied the score at 23-23.

K-State had to be some­what pleased with the score con­sid-

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Go to for a photo gallery from Satur­day’s game, plus anal­y­sis on the Cam­pus Cor­ner blog. er­ing it shot just six for 32 in the first half. Help­ing mat­ters was Mis­souri’s nine of 32 shoot­ing.

Scor­ing was still at a pre­mium in the sec­ond half, but the Wild­cats sep­a­rated them­selves from the Tigers early on with a 19-8 run. De­nis Cle­mente did most of the dam­age dur­ing that span, bank­ing in a floater and sink­ing a three-pointer on back-to-back pos­ses­sions, but Ja­mar Sa­muels also con­trib­uted seven points.

The in­spired play gave KS­tate a 42-31 lead, and it con­trolled the game from there.

Mis­souri got back within five points in the fi­nal 2 min­utes, but the Wild­cats made enough free throws to hold on.

Sa­muels led all scor­ers with 14 points. Ja­cob Pullen added11 for the Wild­cats, Cle­mente chipped in 11 and Cur­tis Kelly scored 10 points and grabbed 10 re­bounds.

Mis­souri’s Kim scored 13 points.

English

| Kel­lis Robi­nett, The Star

RICH SUGG | THE KANSAS CITY STAR

K-State’s Do­minique Sut­ton (left) got to the ball be­fore MU’s Zaire Tay­lor on a steal in the first half Satur­day.

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