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K-State Surges Past Wichita State 69-60

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KStateSports.com) – Senior Tylor Perry led four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 17 points, as Kansas State earned its fifth consecutive win over in-state rival Wichita State with a 69-60 victory before a record-crowd of 18,660 fans at the T-Mobile Center in the 12th Wildcat Classic on Thursday night.

BOX SCORE

The 18,660 fans in attendance represented the largest crowd in the 12-game history of the Wildcat Classic, surpassing the previous high of 18,422 vs. UNLV on Dec. 21, 2010.

K-State is now 10-2 all-time in the Wildcat Classic, which dates to 2007. The Wildcats are now 2-0 in the Classic under Tang after defeating Nebraska, 71-58, in 2022.

Perry was joined in double figures by junior Cam Carter (15 points), senior David N’Guessan (13 points) and junior Arthur Kaluma (11 points). N’Guessan nearly had a double-double with a game-high 9 rebounds to go along with a game-best 3 blocked shots. Perry added a season-tying 4 steals, game-tying 5 assists and 3 rebounds to his 17-point effort, while Carter had a game-tying 5 assists and 5 rebounds to go with his 15 points. Senior Will McNair Jr. posted 7 points and 7 rebounds.

K-State (9-3) broke open a nip-and-tuck affair with a 15-5 run over a 5-minute span early in the second half, turning a 36-35 lead into a 51-40 advantage with just under 12 minutes remaining. Four different Wildcats contributed points during the pivotal run, including 5 points from Kaluma, 4 points from N’Guessan and 3 points each from Carter and Perry.

Down double figures, Wichita State (8-4) didn’t go away, using a 7-0 run to close the deficit to 51-47 with just over 10 minutes to play. However, the Wildcats returned serve with their own 7-0 spurt, including 4 more points from N’Guessan and a 3-pointer from Perry, to push back ahead by double digits at 58-47 at 8:15 mark. The Shockers would get no closer than 7 points the rest of the way.

WSU narrowly out-shot K-State, 41.3 percent to 40 percent, scoring 38 of its 60 points in the paint. The Wildcats were able to capitalize on their opportunities from the free throw line, hitting on 23 of 29 attempts, including a perfect 6-of-6 effort from Perry and a 8-of-9 performance from Carter.

The Shockers were led by junior Quincy Ballard, who posted 13 points and a team-best 7 rebounds, while juniors Xavier Bell and Colby Rogers added 12 points each.

The game pitted longtime friends Kansas State’s Jerome Tang and Wichita State’s Paul Mills, who spent 14 seasons together as assistant coaches under Scott Drew at Baylor.

The teams will finish off their 4-game series in 2024-25 when Wichita State plays host to K-State at Koch Arena for the first time since 2002.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The two teams went back and forth in the early going with the Wildcats taking a 10-8 edge in the first media timeout behind a 3-pointer from junior Arthur Kaluma and a layup by senior David N’Guessan. WSU used a 7-2 run to jump out ahead 15-12 before K-State responded with 8 straight points, including a corner 3-pointer from junior Cam Carter, to retake the lead at 20-15.

The Wildcats were able to maintain their lead over the next few minutes, building it to as much as 29-23 with 4 points from Carter and a pair of free throws by N’Guessan. However, the Shockers were able to close to within a possession multiple times, including 29-27 right before a timeout by head coach Jerome Tang with 3:21 in the half.

Freshman Macaleab Rich was able to give K-State a boost right before the half with a pair of free throws and a putback, as the Wildcats led 33-29 at the break. WSU shot 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from the field in the opening half compared to 37.5 percent (9-of-24) by K-State. Carter led all scorers in the opening half with 10 points, while junior Colby Rogers led the Shockers with 7 points.

It was just as nip and tuck to start the second half, as a Carter jumper ignited a 15-5 run that gave the Wildcats a 51-40 lead with 11:44 remaining. Four different players contributed to the run highlighted by 3-pointers from Kaluma and senior Tylor Perry. The Shockers responded with 7 straight points to close the gap to 51-47, but the Wildcats used a 7-0 run of their own to again push ahead by double figures at 58-47 right before the media timeout with 7:49 to play.

WSU made one last push to close the deficit, scoring 6 of the next 8 points out of the timeout to get within 60-53. However, K-State responded with 7 straight points, including a pair of free throws by Carter and Perry and a 3-point play by senior Will McNair Jr., to push back out 67-53 and put the game away with 3 minutes to play.

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“I just want to thank our fans– what a crowd. I was stunned this year when I didn’t see the curtains [in the nosebleeds] I thought “this is a little different.” These games are always tough for a lot of different reasons. The game before Christmas, you’re always concerned that your players go home and don’t tell you. Some of them are flying out either tonight or tomorrow morning and you just wonder if they’re already home for Christmas. [Assistant] Coach [Rodney] Perry did an unbelievable job with the scouting report and with his mentor today. I just thought our guys were just locked in, and we got to be a resilient tough group. We played 12 really terrible minutes of basketball against Nebraska last week. A lot of that credit goes to Nebraska and what they did, but we didn’t play well for 12 minutes, and it cost us. Our guys didn’t let it affect them in a negative way. They came back and they worked really hard. I was probably not nice to be around the last few days with them, just focusing on what we have to be about. You never want to lose at home, and they responded. They took it and adjusted what we did in the second half, especially the first four to eight minutes of the second half. We set the tone for the game and in the second half that really helped us. I am so blessed, and so thankful to be here coaching with the people I’m with. We are really grateful for a win before Christmas, because we say everybody has Christmas but the difference between Christmas and a “Merry Christmas” is a win.

On playing against longtime friend Paul Mills…
“Coach Mills is not just an old coach from Baylor, he is really like a brother. We coached against each other in high school and did a lot of things together there and supported each other’s programs. We started out as coaches and then God blessed us to be at Baylor together for 14 years. We shared hotel rooms on the road, and he was my roommate, he would watch Hoosiers before every basketball game, and for every game he had the Hoosiers playing on his computer. We had talked about our dreams that one day we would be head coaches and we’d have our own teams in the NCAA Tournament. We were 2-2 as high school coaches against each other. We always said that after we got through coaching in college, we’d go back and coach high school and then break the tie. He’s not just a coach. Win or lose this game, it wasn’t going to change our relationship. I absolutely love that guy. He’s done so much for me and my family and helped me be a better man, a better husband and a better father. You never want to play these kinds of games when you’re playing against someone that you love and care about, but I mean we see how good his team is. Immediately you see how well coached they are. Wichita State is blessed to have Paul Mills.”

On David N’Guessan’s breakthrough in this game…
“It’s been great. We’ve just been letting David [N’Guessan] know that all his hard work is going to pay off. I said before the last game he was in the gym and made a lot of free throws. Our thing is to not be result driven, right, rather than be process driven. Let’s trust our work, all the work you’re doing, because at some point in time hard work pays off. It makes you shoot in all the spots he shoots, and he’s going to make his free throws because he puts a lot of work into these. He was 3-for-5 from the free throw line today. We showed him some film and talked about his plan this summer and how confident he was playing this summer with his international team. We wanted him to get back to that because he’s a good basketball player. Being able to go 13 (points), nine (rebounds) and three blocks, that was great. I’m so proud of him.”

TEAM NOTES

  • K-State (9-3) bounced back for a 69-60 win over Wichita State in the 12th edition of the Wildcat Classic at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
  • K-State is now 10-2 all-time in the Wildcat Classic, which dates to 2007.
  • K-State is now 23-22 all-time in games played at the T-Mobile Center, including 12-6 in games played in the regular season (10-2 in Wildcat Classic and 2-4 in Hall of Fame Classic).
  • The 18,660 attendance was the largest in the 12-game Wildcat Classic history, surpassing the 18,422 vs. UNLV on Dec. 21, 2010.
  • K-State earned its fifth straight win over Wichita State and now lead the series, 23-11.
  • K-State is now 180-56 in non-conference play since 2006-07.
  • K-State scored its 69 points on 40 percent (20-of-50) shooting, including 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from 3-point range, while the Wildcats went 23-of-29 from the free throw line.
  • K-State held a 37-33 advantage in rebounding, marking the eighth time in 12 games that the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent.
  • Wichita State held advantages in points off turnovers (18-10), points in the paint (38-26), second-chance points (15-9), while K-State had an 11-2 edge in fast-break points.
  • 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 eighth time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 48 games in his K-State career… Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started all 12 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their 10th starts, respectively.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Four Wildcats scored in double figures led by senior Tylor Perry’s game-high 17 points to go with a season-best 4 steals.
  • Perry was joined in double figures by junior Cam Carter (15 points), senior David N’Guessan (13 points) and junior Arthur Kaluma (11 points).
  • Perry posted his 17 points on 4-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-11 from 3-point range, to go with a game-tying 5 assists, a season-tying 4 steals and 3 rebounds in 33 minutes… He also went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line… He has now scored in double figures in 68 career games, including in 11 of 12 games this season.
  • Carter scored his 15 points on 3-of-9 field goals, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and 8-of-9 free throws to go with 5 rebounds, a game-tying 5 assists and a steal in team-high 36 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 20 career games, including 10 times this season.
  • N’Guessan had a near double-double with 13 points on 5-of-8 field goals and 3-of-5 free throws to go with a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 3 blocked shots in 34 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 16 career games, including 5 this season.
  • Kaluma scored his 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and 3-of-4 free throws to go with 6 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist in 24 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 49 career games, including 9 this season.
  • Redshirt freshman Dorian Finister played for the first time since the Central Arkansas game on Nov. 22, logging nearly 10 minutes of action with 2 rebounds.

UP NEXT
K-State will play its final non-conference game of the 2023-24 season on Tuesday, Jan. 2, as the Wildcats welcome Chicago State (7-9) at 7 p.m., CT to Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets are still available at kstatesports.com/tickets.

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