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Cardiac ‘Cats Strike Again in Late Rally over Oklahoma State

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KStateSports.com) – Junior Cam Carter scored the last 4 points, including the game-winning layup with 24 seconds, as Kansas State used another second-half rally to knock off Oklahoma State, 70-66, on Saturday night before a season-high 10,247 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State (14-4, 4-1 Big 12) trailed Oklahoma State for nearly 24 minutes, including 16 in the second half, before getting clutch plays from a variety of players down the stretch to pull out a victory. The Wildcats are now 5-1 on the season in games decided by 4 points or less.

K-State scored 18 of the last 25 points to erase a 7-point Oklahoma State lead with 7:31 to play. Four players (Carter, junior Arthur Kalumaand seniors Will McNair Jr. and Tylor Perry) contributed points during this pivotal stretch led by Carter and Kaluma who combined for 13 of the 18 points.

Carter scored 7 of his 15 points during this span, which included a banked in 3-pointer that gave the home team a 61-60 lead with 3:31 to play. It was the Wildcats’ first lead since the 7:51 mark of the first half. Kaluma, who led all scorers with 23 points, added 6 points in this sequence, including free throws that gave K-State a 63-61 lead with 2:56 to play and a jumper that made it 65-63 with 2:18 remaining.

With the game knotted at 66-all, Carter converted on a layup off an inbounds pass from Perry with 1 second left on the shot clock for a 68-66 lead with 24 seconds. After a turnover by the Cowboys on the next possession, Perry found Carter in the front court where he dribbled out the clock before being fouled with 8.7 seconds. He knocked down both free throws to push the game out of reach at 70-66.

Kaluma, who eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier in his college career with 11 points in the first half, finished the night with 23 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and a 6-of-9 effort from the free throw line. It was his eighth career 20-point game, including his fourth this season.

Along with his 23 points, Kaluma posted a team-high 7 rebound, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots in nearly 38 minutes of action. He and Carter were joined in double figures by McNair Jr., who posted 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a blocked shot.

The Wildcats are now 7-0 this season when McNair Jr., registers double figures.

Although plagued by turnovers (17 on the night), K-State connected on 52.1 percent (25-of-48) from the field, including 54.5 percent (12-of-22) in the second half. The Wildcats scored 32 of their 70 points in the paint with 20 assists on 25 made field goals. Seven players registered at least 2 assists led by Perry’s game-tying 5 dimes. They also made 8 3-pointers and made 12 of 15 attempts from the free throw line.

K-State is now 12-1 under head coach Jerome Tang and 4-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

The hard-luck Cowboys (8-10, 0-5 Big 12) lost their sixth game by 5 points or less this season.  They finished the night shooting 41.5 percent (22-of-53) from the field, including 33.3 percent (9-of-27) from 3-point range, and made 13-of-20 attempts from the free throw line.

Three players scored in double figures led by freshman Eric Dailey Jr. who had 15 points off the bench on 6-of-10 field goals and 3-of-3 free throws. Junior Javan Small and senior John-Michael Wright each scored 11 points. Small added a game-high 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in 37 minutes.

K-State won its fourth in a row at home to move to 10-1 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats continue to be a force at home under Tang, moving to 25-2 overall and 11-1 in Big 12 play during his tenure.

K-State has now won 4 of the last 5 meetings with Oklahoma State, including 3 in a row. The Wildcats now lead the all-time series, 86-58, including 43-18 at home. The two teams will play for a second time in 2 weeks with a matchup at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Feb. 3.

HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State jumped out to a quick start, racing out to a 9-3 advantage before leading 9-6 at the first media timeout at the 15:59 mark. Senior David N’Guessan had 5 of the Wildcats’ first 9 points, including just his second 3-pointer of the season.

K-State led by as many as 4 points several times over the next few minutes, but Oklahoma State slowly chipped away at the deficit taking its first lead at 17-16 on a layup by freshman Eric Dailey Jr. with 10:39 to play in the half. Senior Will McNair Jr. and freshman Dai Dai Ameshelped the Wildcats regain the lead at 20-19, but the Cowboys took advantage of miscues to convert on a third 3-pointer and a jumper to push ahead 24-20 at the final media timeout of the half at the 3:47 mark.

Junior Arthur Kaluma gave K-State a lift with 3 straight points to close to the deficit to 24-23, but OSU responded with consecutive 3-pointers to pull ahead 30-23 with 2:16 to play. Kaluma once again had a scoring spurt, including his first 3-pointer, to get the Wildcats to within 30-28, however, the Cowboys continued to press, scoring 5 of the final 8 points to take a 35-31 lead at the break.

The teams combined for 24 turnovers and 15 personal fouls in the first half, as Kaluma led all scorers with 11 points, including eclipsing the 1,000-point barrier in his college career.

The start of the second half was much like the latter part of the first half, as OSU took advantage of turnovers and missed shots to pull ahead 45-36 at the 14:33 mark. A 5-0 run, including a layup by Ames, closed the gap to 45-41, but the Cowboys once again had a response with their own 5-0 run to again lead by 9 points at 50-41 with 12 to play.

The OSU’s lead grew to double figures at 54-44 after a free throw by sophomore Quion Williams and a 3-pointer by junior Javon Small with 10:13 remaining. K-State shaved the deficit to 56-52 after a 3-point play by senior Tylor Perry, but a ninth 3-pointer by the Cowboys extended the lead to 59-52 at the third media timeout with 7:13 to play.

A pair of free throws by Perry started a run of 6 of 7 points for the Wildcats that got them to within 60-58 with 4:09 to play. After a timeout by K-State, junior Cam Carter gave the Wildcats their first lead since the 7:51 mark of the first half with banked in 3-pointer for a 61-60 lead with 3:31 remaining.

The teams battled through several 3 ties before Carter’s layup off an inbounds pass from Perry gave K-State a 68-66 lead with 24 seconds to play. After a turnover by OSU, Carter knocked down a pair of free throws with 8.7 seconds left to finish off the scoring.

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“I know I sound like a broken record but man, our fans, students, the Legends weekend, having 30 former players or managers, trainers, and different people back. It was just an awesome weekend, and you know they gave us a boost because we really lacked energy. I can’t tell you that I didn’t see it coming because I did and we were on them but this time of year– it’s not an excuse, right? We had some guys who were under the weather, but Oklahoma State made us look even further under the weather with how they played, their energy and their togetherness. Mike’s [Boynton] got those guys. You can’t look at their record and determine what kind of team they are, and I think this might be their sixth game that was (decided by) less than five points that they could have won, and so I mean, they’re right there and they got young talented dudes. Grateful for our fans. Told our guys that when you live right you try to do the right things. You honor God and God honors you and I just feel it’s one of those nights where God allowed bank shot to go in and honored our guys to make some of the right plays at the right time. So thankful to him for this blessing to coach, be a steward of this program, and just so blessed to be here.”

On Arthur Kaluma coming up clutch…
“Arthur’s clutch. I think we got several dudes who are clutch. I think what Arthur did at the end of the half was he stopped trying to just drive the ball or make plays for other people which were leading to turnovers, and he just shot the ball. I just told him, just shoot, like don’t turn it over, just you catch it and just shoot it. I freed him up and he saw it go in and then I mean he was really good.”

On winning ugly…
“Well, I like the fact that we embrace winning. I’ve never really seen an ugly win, I’ve seen a lot of ugly losses, right? And in this league, man, all you have to do is figure out how to win. We have a team and if we’re all honest with ourselves, we look at our roster and stuff, we don’t have a team that you think we’re gonna go out there and score 90 points and it’s gonna look really pretty. We have to make it like games like this where we get 10 steals, that’s just what has to happen. Human nature takes over in situations like this where our guys even as much as we tell them, and we show them and they look at the record and all of that and it all plays into it. So I’m just thankful for winning, and we’ll figure out how to make it look cute some other time but right now let’s just keep winning.”

On Arthur Kaluma defending his teammates and leadership roles evolving…
“Yeah, there has (been a leadership change) and you know, it’s crazy that they come here and y’all ask about struggles right? And what if they made a whole bunch of shots and we lost the game, right? Would y’all have been like man, y’all are shooting really well, but you lost, right? At the end of the day, are we not here about wins, right? I’m proud of him for defending his teammates, the other team, they have a game plan too and Cam [Carter] is at the top and TP [Tylor Perry] is at the top and they were denying TP. I’m proud of Arthur for doing that. We’ve made the turn; I told you we have this analogy this year of taking a piece of metal and forging it into a weapon and now I feel like we have a weapon. Every guy is a weapon but they’re just not as sharp as they need to be. So now we’re filing the weapon. The Bible tells us that as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. It doesn’t say one coach sharpens a player, it says a man sharpens another and I’ve put it on them to help sharpen each other. Hold them accountable but then also, look out for them. And I think in the media Art’s done a great job of looking out for them. And in private, they’ve done a really good job of starting to hold each other accountable. So, it’s not always coming from the coaches.”

TEAM NOTES

  • K-State (14-4, 4-1 Big 12) won for the fourth time in Big 12 play, including the third consecutive time at home, with a come-from-behind 70-66 win over Oklahoma State.
  • K-State rallied from a 10-point deficit with 10:13 to play.
  • Oklahoma State led for nearly 24 minutes compared to 14:26 for K-State.
  • K-State has won 4 straight at home and moved to 10-1 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • K-State is now 25-2 in Bramlage Coliseum, including 11-1 in Big 12 play, under Tang.
  • K-State has now won 3 straight over Oklahoma State… The Wildcats are now 86-58 all-time vs. the Cowboys, including 43-18 at home and 16-12 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • K-State scored its 70 points on 52.1 percent (25-of-48) shooting, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from 3-point range, and 75 percent (12-of-15) from the free throw line.
  • K-State is now 12-1 under head coach Jerome Tang and 4-0 this season when shooting 50 percent from the field.
  • K-State scored 32 of its 70 points in the paint with a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint.
  • K-State had 20 assists on 25 made field goals… The 20 assists are the third-most this season… Seven players had at least 2 assists.
  • K-State lost the rebounding battle for just the sixth time this season, as Oklahoma State held a 31-25 advantage, which included 10 offensive rebounds.
  • Each team had 17 turnovers with K-State holding a 13-11 edge in points off turnovers.
  • K-State tied a season-high with 10 steals.
  • Oklahoma State held advantages in second-chance points (6-5), fast-break points (10-6) and bench points (26-8).
  • K-State started a lineup of senior Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma and senior David N’Guessan and senior Will McNair Jr. … It marked the 14th time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 54 games in his K-State career… Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started all 18 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their 16th starts, respectively.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Junior Arthur Kaluma led three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and 6-of-9 free throws… He added a team-high 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 39 minutes.
  • It was Kaluma’s eighth career 20-point scoring game, including his fourth this season… He has now scored in double figures in 55 career games, including 15 times this season.
  • Kaluma eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier in his college career with 11 points in the first half.
  • Joining Kaluma in double figures was junior Cam Carter (15 points) and senior Will McNair Jr. (10 points).
  • Carter scored his 15 points on 5-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 free throws to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 37 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 26 career games, including a team-best 16 times this season.
  • McNair scored his 10 points on 5-of-6 field goals with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 25 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 21 career games, including 7 times this season.
  • K-State is now 7-0 this season when McNair Jr. scores in double figures.
  • Senior Tylor Perry dished out a game-high 5 assists to go with 9 rebounds and 2 steals in 30 minutes.
  • Freshman Dai Dai Ames returned to the court after missing the last 2 games… He scored 4 points on 2-of-5 field goals with 2 assists, a rebound and a steal in 15 minutes.

UP NEXT
K-State begins another 2-game road trip, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa on Wednesday night to take on No. 24/20 Iowa State (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) at 8 p.m., CT on ESPN2.

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