Pullen Leads Cats to Win at No. 24 Baylor
WACO, Texas - Jacob Pullen's two clutch free throws with 00:08 left in the game broke the 14th tie of the night and proved to be the difference, lifting No. 11 Kansas State to a thrilling 76-74 win at No. 24 Baylor Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.
With the win, Kansas State improved to 17-3 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 Conference play, while Baylor dropped to 15-4 overall and 2-3 in league play.
Pullen broke out for a game-high 25 points, including six three-pointers, while Denis Clemente chipped in 17 and Rodney McGruder 10. K-State connected on 11-of-21 three pointers on the night and out-rebounded the home-standing Bears, 39-36.
In a game that saw 11 ties to go along with the 14 lead changes, K-State built a 44-38 lead early in the second half behind a three from Clemente and a Dominique Sutton jumper. But the Bears answered with six straight to tie the score at 44, and neither team would generate a lead larger than three points for a majority of the second half.
McGruder's three with six minutes left gave K-State a 63-59 lead until the Bears again charged back to tie the game at 66 following two Dunn free throws. Following a K-State timeout, Pullen drained his fourth three of the night to give the Cats the lead back at 69-66. Clinging to a 71-70 lead, Pullen then nailed a three from the top of the key to up the Wildcat lead to 74-70 before Tweety Carter's layup closed the margin to 74-72. Dunn's jumper tied the game at 74 with 00:19 left setting up Pullen's heroics.
Early in the first half, Pullen hit a three as the Wildcats took a 7-6 lead at the first media timeout. A Nick Russell runner and a Jamar Samuels jumper in the lane broke a 9-9 tie as the Wildcats grabbed a 13-9 advantage at the 11:54 mark.
Pullen nailed two more threes to give K-State a 19-14 lead but Baylor went on a 6-0 run to take a 20-19 advantage. The two teams traded leads for a majority of the first half and K-State took a 39-36 lead into the break thanks to three-point field goals by McGruder and Clemente.
K-State forced Baylor into six turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the opening half, while Pullen seemed to get back on track with 11 first-half points. The Wildcats shot 53.1 percent from the field in the opening half, including connecting on 5-of-11 from three-point range.
K-State returns home Saturday as it hosts ESPN's College GameDay and No. 2 Kansas on Saturday. Doors open at 8 a.m. on Saturday for the College GameDay broadcast, while the show will air live on ESPN from 10-11 a.m. CT. Tip-off between the Wildcats and Jayhawks is set for 6 p.m.