Missouri vs Kansas State

K-State shakes Mizzou late in Pullen's milestone outing


MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State was willing to go into a swoon once Saturday when Jacob Pullen went to the bench with foul trouble. Only once.

When the Wildcats' senior guard picked up two fouls in the first half, No. 20 Missouri went on a 10-1 run. But when he took a seat with four fouls with about seven minutes left in a tight game, his teammates settled down and took control, unfurling a gritty 9-0 run that carried them to an 80-70 victory.

"That's kind of what it's about," said Frank Martin, who became the first coach in Kansas State history to win 20 games in each of his first four seasons. "You have a team, not players."

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Pullen scored 24 points, reaching a rare career milestone, and Curtis Kelly added 15 points and six rebounds for the resurgent Wildcats (20-9, 8-6), who have won six of seven and are battling Missouri (22-7, 8-6) for the fourth and final bye in the Big 12 tournament.

Pullen went 3 for 3 from 3-point range and scored 11 quick points at the game's outset, becoming one of two Kansas State players to go over the 2,000-point mark. But he picked up his fourth foul with 7:16 left and was on the bench when Missouri's Michael Dixon hit a 3-pointer for a 60-60 tie with 6:10 to go.

But Will Spradling hit a 3-pointer, Rodney McGruder made a floater in the lane and Nick Russell had four free throws in a 9-0 run as the foul-plagued Tigers dropped to 1-6 in Big 12 road games.

"Will was real tentative in practice the last two days and I was real hard on him," Martin said. "It's a credit that a young kid, a freshman, can step up and accept that responsibility. When Jake went out, him and Rodney accepted responsibility. Curtis accepted responsibility. The most important part was we got defensive stops, which is what gave us the opportunity."

Marcus Denmon had 22 points and Laurence Bowers had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers, who came in with a four-game winning streak but have a conference road win against only last-place Iowa State.

While struggling to stop the Kansas State surge in the final minutes, the Tigers had four players with four fouls and three others with three.

"They made plays down the stretch," Denmon said. "We were in our zone defense when it was tied 60-60. It was a credit to them. We had a lot of mental mistakes as a team. We did a lot of things that you can't do on the road."

Pullen, one of the hottest shooters in the nation the past two weeks, hit his first three 3-pointers and had 11 points as the Wildcats bolted to a 15-7 lead. He and Mike Evans are the only Kansas State players to score 2,000 points.

The Kansas State bench scored 29 points and the Wildcats had a 39-24 rebounding edge over the team that beat them 75-59 on Jan. 17.

"We had a lot of dudes step up, even in the first half," Pullen said. "Will made some shots. They had confidence. They felt like this was our game and we weren't giving it away. When you've got a team that's playing like we're playing right now, just hitting our stride and feeling really good about ourselves, it really makes everything easy, even when I'm not in the game."

In his four-year career, Pullen has never lost to Missouri at home.

"We take a lot of pride when we play again them," he said. "We really wanted this game. We had our moments when we kind of got lackadaisical. But at the end of the day we made plays and we did what we had to do to win the game."

The Wildcats led by as many as 10 points in the first half but Missouri closed to 41-38 at halftime.

"They started off with a tremendous run in a game where emotions are going to run sky-high," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought our guys did a good job of settling in and getting back to the things that we came on the road to do in terms of execution of our offense and defense. When you go into halftime down by three points, you feel pretty good about your team."

McGruder had 10 points for Kansas State. Dixon had 10 for the Tigers.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Jacob Pullen scores 24 points en route to becoming one of two K-State players to go over the 2,000-point mark. (AP)
Jacob Pullen scores 24 points en route to becoming one of two K-State players to go over the 2,000-point mark. (AP)
Missouri #20 (22-7)383270
Kansas State (20-9) «413980
MO:M. Denmon 22 Pts
MO:L. Bowers 9 Reb
MO:P. Pressey 4 Ast
KSST:J. Pullen 24 Pts
KSST:J. Henriquez-Roberts 9 Reb
KSST:S. Southwell 4 Ast

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MissouriKansas State
Marcus Denmon
Jacob Pullen
Missouri Tigers
L. Bowers, F375-126-790116
K. English, G351-62-33244
M. Denmon, G347-135-712222
P. Pressey, G302-62-26438
R. Ratliffe, F121-30-01042
M. Pressey, G212-33-51328
M. Dixon, G204-110-002310
J. Safford, F60-00-00040
S. Moore, C30-00-00030
R. Kreklow, G20-00-00000
J. Sutton, GDid Not Play
J. Underwood, FDid Not Play
K. Green, FDid Not Play
Totals 22-5418-2421132670
Kansas State Wildcats
C. Kelly, F297-91-262215
R. McGruder, G255-100-053310
J. Pullen, G246-108-923424
J. Samuels, F231-20-23322
S. Southwell, G170-00-02400
W. Spradling, G312-53-42219
J. Henriquez-Roberts, C223-70-09226
N. Russell, G161-44-44317
M. Irving, G133-71-31157
V. Ojeleye, FDid Not Play
J. Myles, GDid Not Play
W. Judge, FDid Not Play
N. Williams, FDid Not Play
A. Potuzak, FDid Not Play
D. Peterson, GDid Not Play
Totals 28-5417-2434232080
Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
W. Virginia0-09-113
Texas Tech0-07-129
Kansas St.0-08-2155
Iowa St.0-07-227
Oklahoma St.0-07-2173
Other games
Syracuse 58 Final
VANDY 90 Final
LSU 69
Temple 57 Final
G Wash 41
BYU 80 Final
St John's 81 Final
Kansas 82 Final
Oklahoma 70
Texas 89 Final
Colorado 91
Arizona 49 Final
Florida 68 Final
Kentucky 76
SETON 48 Final
ND 60
Tx A&M 51 Final
Baylor 58
DUKE 60 Final
VT 64