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Pivotal Run Lifts 7/8 Iowa State Past K-State, 76-57

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KStateSports.com) – Kansas State closed a 9-point deficit to just a single point early in the second half, but No. 7/8 Iowa State responded with a 14-2 run to push out ahead and advance to the semifinal round with a 76-57 win on Thursday night before 19,135 fans at the T-Mobile Center.

BOX SCORE

With the loss, K-State (19-14) ended its stay at the Big 12 Championship in the quarterfinal round, falling to 18-27 all-time at the event. The Wildcats are now 0-4 against the Cyclones at the event.

Iowa State (25-7), which ended the regular season with a 65-58 loss to K-State in Manhattan just 5 days ago, enacted revenge in the rubber match, and will now play No. 3 seed Baylor (23-9) in the semifinals.

Three Wildcats scored in double figures, including 18 points from senior Tylor Perry. He was joined in double figures by junior Arthur Kaluma and senior Will McNair Jr., who finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. McNair also added team-highs in both rebounds (6) and blocked shots (4).

Trailing by as many as 9 points in the first half, including 7 at the break, K-State scored 7 straight points to close to within 40-39 with 16:02 remaining. Kaluma started the run with a putback before McNair followed with a 3-point play and a jumper. However, a floater by junior Keshon Gilbert right before the first media timeout sparked the Cyclones to a 14-2 run, flipping the one-point advantage into a 54-41 lead with 11:10 to play.

A 3-pointer from junior Cam Carter out of the media timeout got K-State back to within 54-44, but Iowa State answered right back with 12 of the next 13 points to push its lead to its largest at 21 points (66-45) with 5:48 remaining. Over that pivotal 10-minute span, the Cyclones outscored the Wildcats, 26-6.

Four players scored in double figures for Iowa State, including 34 combined points from the senior frontcourt of Robert Jones (18 points) and Tre King (16 points). Gilbert added 12 points, 5 rebounds and a game-high 6 steals, while sophomore Tamin Lipsey had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Iowa State, which ranks among the top-5 in several defensive categories, including fifth in scoring defense (62.1 ppg.), held K-State to just 57 points on 38.3 percent (18-of-47) shooting, including 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from 3-point range. The Cyclones also forced the Wildcats into a season-tying 20 turnovers, including an opponent-high 14 steals, converting those into 23 points.

Iowa State connected on 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field, including just 7.1 percent (1-of-14) from 3-point range, as 44 of its 76 points came in the paint. They also made 25 of 31 attempts from the free throw line and managed just 6 turnovers of their own.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The teams went back and forth in the early going with Iowa State taking an 8-7 lead into the first media timeout less than 5 minutes into the contest. Senior Will McNair Jr. gave the Wildcats a 9-8 lead out of the timeout but the Cyclones responded 8 of the next 10 points to push ahead 16-11 at the second media timeout at the 11:52 mark.

The defenses took over the next 5 minutes, as ISU managed to stay ahead 20-14 despite going without a field goal for more than 4 minutes. The Cyclones took advantage of the Wildcats’ foul issues, knocking down 7 of 10 attempts from the free throw line. Senior Robert Jones broke the field goal drought with a jumper out of the timeout, as the Cyclones got 3 consecutive baskets to push ahead 26-17.

Senior Tylor Perry, who was plagued by foul issues, connected on his second 3-pointer to close the deficit to 26-20 at the final media timeout with 3:56 to play. He added 4 free throws over the next 2 possessions to get the Wildcats to within 28-24, but the Cyclones got back-to-back baskets, including a steal and breakaway dunk, to push the lead back out to 32-24.

Perry was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all 3 free throws to close the deficit to 32-27, but Jones gave Iowa State a 34-27 lead at the break with his fourth basket. Perry led all scorers with 13 points, while Jones had 12 points to pace the Cyclones.

Junior Cam Carter gave K-State the first points of the second half with a 3-pointer on the first possession, but ISU followed with consecutive baskets to take a 38-30 lead. However, a rebound and putback by junior Arthur Kaluma sparked the Wildcats, as they ran off 7 straight points to close the deficit to 40-39. A jumper by junior Keshon Gilbert broke the run and gave the Cyclones a 42-39 edge at the first media timeout at the 15:48 mark.

In turn, the Gilbert jumper sparked Iowa State, as the Cyclones had 9 of the next 10 points to push the lead to 49-41 and force a timeout by head coach Jerome Tang with 12:24 remaining. The run continued despite the timeout, as the Cyclones led 54-41 right after the second media timeout with 11:11 to play.

A Carter 3-pointer broke the 9-0 run closed the deficit to 54-44, but Iowa State followed with 12 of the next 13 points to build a 66-45 lead and force another timeout by Tang with 5:48 remaining. The Wildcats never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way, as the Cyclones earned the victory.

HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
Opening statement…
“Congratulations to Iowa State. They were the better team tonight. There is a reason why they are ranked No. 7 in the country. We didn’t play particularly well, but it was because of them. They made things happen. We were very aggressive, and they came ready to play. But I was very proud of our guys because we kept fighting and, you know, we were thankful for this opportunity and blessed to be able to do what we do, and I love these dudes and I’m excited about next week and what God has in store for us.”

On why K-State deserves to be in NCAA Tournament…
“Yeah, I thought last night when we won that game against Kansas, and I have several reasons why. We have five Quad 1 wins, all five against the top-30 in the NET. We have six wins against the top-40 in the NET. The opponents that we played against in the non-conference and the conference combined have the ninth-best defense in the country and the 35th best offense in the country. So, we didn’t play a Powder Puff schedule. We have the number one strength of schedule of all of the bubble teams right now. We’re 1-0 against the SEC, and that was a true road game at LSU. We’re 2-0 against the Big East and we played Providence on a neutral court with Bryce Hopkins and beat ’em. We played six power conference teams in the non-conference and an American team. So we didn’t duck anybody. We won seven overtime games, and, for some reason, that’s being held against us in the net with the metrics, right? Because I was told a long time ago, just win the game. Right? Because we didn’t win by 30 or 40 against Quad 4 teams, right, that’s being held against us in the numbers and what the NET shows. What’s not taken into account is that we were missing two guys who could have started for us. We were trying to figure out who we were in November when those things happened. Only three of our losses are to non NCAA Tournament teams. That’s another reason why — we have nine wins in the number one league in the country. I said all along nine wins in this league should get you in. So last night when we won, I felt really good about that. Now obviously I’m not the one making the decision, but we have the most Quad 1 wins and the best Quad 1 winning percentage of any bubble team except for Texas A&M. They have four Quad 4 losses. We have no Quad 4 losses, we have one Quad 3 loss, and that was to Miami. And when we played Miami on a neutral site, they were ranked 15th in the country. They weren’t the team that Miami is right now. And when we played USC on the neutral site, they were also top-20 in the country. We played the USC team that just beat Arizona the other day. That’s the USC team that we played, not the one that had injury problems and lost a bunch of games during the year. So, when I look at it and I see our body of work, and I think about our Quad 1 wins, we have elite Quad 1 wins. Three teams are ranked in the top-10 in the country when we beat ’em. We beat Kansas full strength. We beat them with Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson. We beat Baylor and we beat Iowa State. So, we have elite Quad 1 wins. We have no bad losses. So, I felt last night when we won that game and they gave us our ninth Big 12 win, that we were in the (NCAA) Tournament. Thanks for asking that.”

On the next few days…
“Is it going to be nerve-wracking? Yes, it is. But I told you, I got this crazy faith, man. When we come up short, and we come up short a lot in a lot of areas of life, I got this big God that fills the gap for me. And I talk to these guys all the time about His grace and His mercy. I got this feeling on the inside, this joy inside of me, that I can’t explain it, right, and you can’t understand it unless you live it, right? But God has done some amazing things in my life for me and all I want to do is see Him – my prayer is that He delivers it for these guys because they deserve a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. Am I going to be nervous? Yes. Are we going to practice? We’re going to talk about it with the staff. What we’re going to do is we’re going to be together, we’re going to live life, love each other and we’re going to be fired up for the next thing that’s in store for us.”

TEAM NOTES

  • 10-seed K-State (19-14, 8-10 Big 12) ended its stay at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Thursday night, as 2-seed and No. 7/8 Iowa State (25-7, 13-5 Big 12) posted a 76-57 victory at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
  • K-State is now 38-45 all-time at the Big Eight/12 Championship dating back to 1977, including 18-27 at the Big 12 Championship… The Wildcats are now 37-40 all-time in conference championship games in Kansas City, including 11-15 at the T-Mobile Center.
  • Iowa State is now 4-2 against K-State in the Big Eight/12 Championship, including 4-0 at the Big 12 Championship (2004, 2014, 2019, 2024).
  • Iowa State wins the rubber match after the teams split their 2 earlier meetings… K-State still leads the all-time series, 146-94.
  • K-State is now 24-23 all-time at the T-Mobile Center.
  • K-State scored its 57 points on 38.2 percent (18-of-47) shooting, including 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from 3-point range, and 65.2 percent (15-of-23) from the free throw line.
  • K-State tied a season-high with 20 turnovers… Iowa State scored 23 points off those turnovers.
  • K-State out-rebounded Iowa State, 33-31, including 12 offensive rebounds that resulted in 11 second-chance points… The Wildcats have now out-rebounded their opponent in 20 of 33 games.
  • Three Wildcats scored in double figures, including 18 points from senior Tylor Perry.
  • K-State used a starting lineup of senior Tylor Perry, freshman Dai Dai Ames, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma and redshirt sophomore Jerrell Colbert… It marked the 12th straight game using this lineup and just the fifth different lineup this season… Carter has now started all 69 games in his K-State career… Carter and Perry have started all 33 games… Kaluma earned his 31st start… It was the 15th start for Ames and the 12th career start for Colbert.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Three Wildcats scored in double figures led by 18 points from senior Tylor Perry… He was joined in double figures by junior Arthur Kaluma (13 points) and senior Will McNair Jr. (12 points).
  • Perry scored his 18 points on 4-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 free throws to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes… He now has scored in double figures in 81 career games, including 24 this season.
  • Perry has now led the team in scoring in a team-best 17 games.
  • Kaluma scored his 13 points on 5-of-9 field goals, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range and 2-of-4 free throws to go with 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 36 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 68 career games, including a team-best 28 this season.
  • McNair scored his 12 points on 5-of-8 field goals and 2-of-3 free throws to go with a team-high 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in 21 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 26 career games, including 12 this season… It marked his eighth time leading the team in rebounds.

UP NEXT
K-State will now await its postseason destination which will be announced Sunday night.