No. 12 Wildcats Halt Buffs' Charge
BOULDER, Colo. - The Kansas State Wildcats got a valuable win on the road in the Big 12 Conference halting the Colorado Buffaloes 87-81. Five Wildcats scored in double figures as the win was not pretty with 68 fouls called, but it gives K-State a much-needed road win nonetheless.
K-State (15-2 2-1 Big 12) built its largest lead of nine points with just three minutes to play in the first half and saw Colorado (10-7, 1-2) pull within striking distance late in the second half. The Wildcats were able to hold off the charge by the Buffs with stellar free throw shooting.
The Wildcats made 38-of-54 free throws for a 70.4 percentage, but K-State shot 76.9 percent in the second half to take advantage of its free opportunities to score. Colorado shot just 60 percent from the charity stripe in the second half.
Jacob Pullen led K-State with 18 points as he dropped in a trio of 3-pointers on the day and pulled down six rebounds. Denis Clemente contributed 15 points despite making just two field goals. Clemente was deadly standing at the free-throw line hitting on 11-of-13. Curtis Kelly put together a complete game for the Wildcats with 11 points and seven rebounds. He also added a pair of blocks. Jamar Samuels kept his production off the bench strong with 11 points, and freshman Rodney McGruder put 10 points on the board in a solid outing for K-State.
K-State could not find a way to contain Colorado's Cory Higgins as he scored 30 points to lead the Buffs. Higgins was 12-of-18 from the field and pulled down six rebounds. Three more Buffaloes scored in double digits, but it was their bench that could not produce as well as the Wildcats.
The Wildcats were able to shut down Colorado's players off the bench limiting the Buffs to 18 points from their nonstarters. K-State got 32 points from its bench while also collecting 20 offensive rebounds to help get the road win. The Cats outrebounded the Buffs, 44-27, in the contest.
K-State has a date with No. 1 Texas coming up next on Monday as part of ESPN Big Monday. Tipoff against the Longhorns is set for 8 p.m. from Bramlage Coliseum.