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Kaluma Leads Five Wildcats in Double Figures in Exhibition Win

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TEL AVIV, Israel (kstatesports.com) Junior Arthur Kaluma paced five Wildcats in double figures with 23 points, as the Kansas State men’s basketball team opened its exhibition tour with a 94-87 win over the Israeli Select Team on Tuesday night (August 15) at the Hadar Yosef Arena. It was the Wildcats’ first exhibition game of their historic 10-day trip to Israel and Abu Dhabi, which began Wednesday, August 9 and runs until Sunday, August 20.

The Creighton transfer, Kaluma was joined in double figures by junior Cam Carter and graduate transfer Tylor Perry, who each had 17 points, as well as freshman R.J. Jones and senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Carter registered a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds, while Perry dished out a game-best 7 assists.

K-State, which led 77-68 early in the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Perry, had to withstand a fierce rally by the Israelis, who used a 16-4 run to take an 84-81 lead with just over 3 minutes to play. However, the Wildcats responded with a 13-3 run to end the game to secure the victory. Carter started a run of 10 straight points with a 3-pointer to tie it at 84-all with 2:24 remaining, which was followed by free throws from Perry, a 3-pointer from Kaluma, and a putback basket by freshman Macaleab Rich.

The Israelis were led by Ryan Turell, who had a game-high 32 points and a team-high 8 rebounds. Turell currently plays for the NBA G-League’s Motor City Cruise.

K-State is now 72-20 all-time in exhibition play dating back to the first such competitions in 1964, including 28-13 against international competition. This was the first meeting with a team from Israel. The current international tour is the program’s first since 2016 when the Wildcats played 5 exhibition games in Italy and Switzerland.

K-State departs for Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. early Wednesday morning (August 16), where they will play 2 more games on Thursday (August 17) and Friday (August 18).

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the overall performance of the team…
“I was super excited that we got the win. The goal was to try and get everybody in and get some experience, see the young guys play, then their competitiveness kicked in and they were trying to figure out how to win it. I was pleased with the outcome. We’re gonna learn more about our team off the court (during this trip) then we’re going to learn on the floor. And so that’s important to us. It’s been a great experience so far.”

On the play of the newcomers…
“Arthur and TP came here for a reason. We expect them to be major contributors and All-Big 12 type of players, so they showed a glimpse of some of the things they can do. They are learning something new and how to play differently and play with new teammates. R.J. (Jones) did a good job of responding in the second half. We were going to switch lineups in each half to give different guys a chance to start.”

TEAM NOTES
Back and Forth Affair: K-State led for 36 minutes and 31 seconds in the game, jumping out to big leads before holding off a strong push from the Israelis. The Wildcats led 21-12 with 3:15 remaining in the first quarter before allowing the Israelis to use an 8-0 run to close the gap at 26-19. The team took a 12-point lead (38-26) in the second quarter before watching the home team cut the deficit to 43-42 at the break.

The Wildcats built the lead back up in the middle of third quarter and early moments of the fourth quarter before allowing the Israelis to regain the lead at 84-81 with under 4 minutes to play. Fortunately, the team finished the game on a 13-3 run to pull out the victory.

Noteworthy Numbers: The Wildcats connected on 43.7 percent (31-of-71) from the field, 32.4 percent (12-of-37) from 3-point range and made 66.7 percent (20-of-30) from the free throw line. The Israelis shot 40.3 percent (27-of-67), including 36.8 percent (14-of-38) from long range, and 86.4 percent (19-of-22) from the line. K-State scored 27 points off 18 Israeli turnovers (including 13 steals) and held advantages in points in the paint (36-16) and second-chance points (20-14).

Different Starters: Head coach Jerome Tang mixed and matched his starting lineup, beginning the game with the combination of graduate transfer Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, redshirt freshman Taj Manning, junior Arthur Kaluma and senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin. He followed with Perry, Carter, freshman R.J. Jones, Kaluma and Tomlin in the second and third quarters before starting Perry, Carter, sophomore Dorian Finister, Kaluma and Tomlin the fourth quarter.

Playing with 10: The K-State team consisted of 10 players, as rising senior David N’Guessan is currently playing for The Netherlands at the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, Turkiye. The Orange Lions are 1-1 after a 78-76 last-second win over Belgium on Monday (August 14) and conclude pool play with Croatia on Wednesday (August 16).

PLAYER NOTES
Kaluma Enjoys Strong Start: Junior Arthur Kaluma showed his tremendous ability in his first action as a Wildcat, leading the team with 23 points on 8-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and 4-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. He also added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block in nearly 32 minutes.

Carter Shows All-Around Potential: Junior Cam Carter notched a double-double with 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting with a game-high 10 rebounds (9 defensive), team-best 2 blocks and 2 steals in nearly 32 minutes.

Perry Manning the Point: Graduate transfer Tylor Perry caught fire late to finish with 17 points on 4-of-12 field goals (all from 3-point range) and 5-of-6 free throws to go along with a game-high 7 assists and 7 rebounds in 35 minutes of action.