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K-State Slips Past Providence in Overtime, 73-70

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NASSAU, The Bahamas (KStateSports.com) – Kansas State got big performances from senior Tylor Perry and junior Arthur Kaluma, as the Wildcats used a gritty effort to outlast Providence, 73-70, in overtime in the semifinals of the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship on Friday night before raucous crowd of 1,833 fans at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

BOX SCORE

With the win, K-State (3-1) advances to the championship game of the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship against No. 12/11 Miami (4-0) at 1:30 p.m., CT on Sunday afternoon.

Perry scored a game-high and season-best 24 points to pace four Wildcats in double figures, while Kaluma added a season-high 18 points, including a critical 3-pointer in the overtime period, on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, to go with 7 rebounds. Senior Will McNair Jr. and freshman Dai Dai Ames each chipped in 10 points.

Among Perry’s 24 points was a perfect 14-of-14 performance from the free throw line, which tied for the third-best in school history and the best since Michael Beasley went 15-of-15 from the line at Baylor on Feb. 23, 2008. Only Beasley and Steve Henson, who went a school-best 17-of-17 from the stripe at Iowa State on Feb. 24, 1988, have enjoyed a better performance from the free throw line.

In addition to those efforts, senior David N’Guessan scored all 6 of his points in overtime on perfect 3-of-3 shooting to go with 6 rebounds, while junior Cam Carter, who had an off-night shooting the ball, tied a career-high with 8 rebounds to go with a game-high 4 steals.

K-State showed it could grind out a game against a stellar defensive team, hitting timely shots and taking advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, where the Wildcats converted on 85.2 percent (23-of-27). Providence entered the game ranking 17th nationally in field goal percentage defense (33.5), including 24th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.2), and 11th in blocked shots (7.0 bpg.).

The teams entered overtime tied at 57-all after neither team hit a field goal in the last 3 minutes. Perry started the extra period by making 3 straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer then N’Guessan followed with a layup off a feed from Perry to help the Wildcats score the first 5 points.

After Providence (3-1) closed to within 62-61 on a pair of free throws and a layup, Kaluma knocked down his biggest shot of the night on a 3-pointer on an assist from Ames with 2:18 remaining. The Wildcats then back-to-back layups from N’Guessan to push ahead 69-63 with 47.5 seconds left. Perry and Ames both went 2-of-2 from the line to close it out in the last 26 seconds.

K-State ended the night shooting 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from 3-point range. However, in the extra session, the Wildcats made 4 of their 5 field goals, including Kaluma’s 3-pointer, and made 7 of 9 from the free throw line.

The defense matched and, at times, exceeded that of Providence’s stellar effort, holding the Friars (3-1) to a season-low 35.3 percent (24-of-68) shooting, including 22.7 percent (5-of-22) from 3-point range. After allowing 78.5 points on 50 percent shooting in the first two games of the season, the Wildcats have allowed 69 points in the past two outings on 38.3 percent (51-of-133) shooting.

Providence had four players score in double figures led by junior Devin Carter’s 19 points on 6-of-16 field goals to go with 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Junior Bryce Hopkins posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while graduate transfers Davonte Gaines and Josh Oduro each added 10 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior Will McNair Jr. scored the Wildcats’ first 7 points, including his first 3-pointer in a K-State uniform to open the game, but it was the Friars who took the early 15-9 lead behind an 8-2 run right before the second media timeout with 11:39 before halftime.

K-State got back into the game behind an 11-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 22-18 lead with 3:21 remaining. Five different players scored during the run that was capped by a 3-pointer from junior Cam Carter. The Friars were able to tie the game at 26-all on a 3-pointer by Ticket Gaines with 1:12 to play, but freshman Dai Dai Ames was able to knock down a triple on the next possession to give the Wildcats a 29-26 lead at the half.

Providence scored the first 5 points to open the second half to regain the lead before junior Arthur Kaluma connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to push K-State ahead 35-31. The Wildcats maintained the lead before the Friars used a 9-0 run to jump back ahead at 47-42 and forced a timeout by head coach Jerome Tang with 7:59 to play.

Perry responded out of the timeout with 7 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, while Ames added a free throw to give K-State a 50-47 lead. Providence wouldn’t go away, scoring 9 of the next 12 points to regain the lead at 56-53 with 2:53 to play.

Perry knocked down 4 straight free throws to return the lead into the Wildcats’ favor at 57-56 with 1:37 to play, but the Friars knotted it at 57-all after making 1-of-2 from the line. Neither team scored the last 80 seconds of regulation to force overtime.

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“I can’t think our fans enough. There has been purple and lavender everywhere around this resort. It was just an unbelievable job by them. It felt like a home game. They definitely gave us an advantage out there. I told our team before the game that this is an NCAA Tournament-type game. They played in the NCAA Tournament last season and returned a lot of players with a lot of minutes, so this was a big one for us. We showed a lot of growth from the first game against USC. We did a lot of really good things, but we still got a lot of room to improve, but thankful that we’ll be able to learn from winning.”

On being cool under pressure in the overtime period…
We work on that every day. Every single day we work on end-of-game situations. We have a drill called 5-to-grind, where we work on how we want to play in the last 5 minutes and what goes into winning those close games. Our staff from (associate head coach) Ulric (Maligi) to (assistant coach) Rodney Perry are always looking for ways we can take advantage of things offensively and what we need to do defensively and making those adjustments. We really have an advantage with those guys on our bench.”

On the physicality of the game…
“It was a point of emphasis going in. We knew when we were offense, we had to compete to get open and on defense, we had to compete to keep them out of paint. They’re a really good team. I was very pleased that we were able to not only match their physicality, but I thought we exceeded it at times and had them back on their heels. I was pleased with how we handled it.”

TEAM NOTES

  • K-State (3-1) advances to play in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship on Sunday afternoon with a 73-70 overtime win over Providence… It will mark the 22nd time that the Wildcats have made it to the championship game of an in-season tournament, including the second straight season (2022 Cayman Islands Classic)… The team has won the last 2 tournaments played in the Caribbean (2018 Paradise Jam and 2022 Cayman Island Classic).
  • K-State is now 181-114 all-time in-season tournament play, winning its 4 straight such game.
  • K-State is now 174-54 in non-conference play since 2006-07.
  • K-State is now 2-0 all-time vs. Providence (first meeting since 1977).
  • K-State snapped a 4-game losing streak to BIG EAST foes.
  • K-State is now 6-0 in overtime under head coach Jerome Tang.
  • K-State scored its 73 points on 36.8 percent (21-of-57) shooting, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from 3-point range, and 85.2 percent (23-of-27) from the free throw line.
  • K-State had a season-high 20 turnovers, resulting in 22 Providence points.
  • The Friars also held advantages in points in the paint (36-20), second-chance points (20-12), fast-break points (6-1) and bench points (18-10).
  • The teams combined for 45 personal fouls, including 3 technical fouls, while Providence’s Garwey Dual and K-State’s Dai Dai Ames were ejected with 7 seconds.
  • K-State started a lineup of senior Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma, senior David N’Guessan and senior Will McNair Jr. … It marked the second time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 40 games in his K-State career… Perry and N’Guessan have started all 4 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their third starts of the season.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Four Wildcats scored in double figures led by senior Tylor Perry’s game-high and season-best 24 points. He was joined by junior Arthur Kaluma’s season-high 18 points, while senior Will McNair Jr. and freshman Dai Dai Ames each added 10 points.
  • K-State is now 15-4 under Jerome Tang when four or more players score in double figures.
  • Perry has now scored in double figures in all 4 games, including 20 or more points in 3 games… He has now scored in double figures in 13 straight games dating back to last season… He has scored 20 or more points in 7 of the last 9 games.
  • Perry went 14-of-14 from the free throw line, which ties for the third-best performance in school history… It is the best performance from the line since Michael Beasley went 15-of-15 at Baylor on Feb. 23, 2008… Only Beasley and Steve Henson (17-of-17 at Iowa State on Feb. 24, 1988) performed better from the line.
  • Junior Arthur Kaluma scored a season-best 18 points on 6-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal in 35 minutes… He now has double figures in 42 career games.
  • Senior Will McNair Jr. matched a season-high with 10 points on 4-of-7 field goals, while he had a season-high 2 blocked shots in playing 30 minutes.
  • Freshman Dai Dai Ames posted double figures for the second time this season with 10 points on 2-of-12 field goals and 5-of-6 free throws… He added 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
  • Junior Cam Carter tied his career-highs for rebounds (8) and steals (4).

UP NEXT
K-State will face No. 12/11 Miami (4-0) in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Classic Championship on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., CT. The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.

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