Cats claw out a win
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-
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.
| Kellis Robinett, The Star
K-State’s Dominique Sutton (left) got to the ball before MU’s Zaire Taylor on a steal in the first half Saturday.