No. 12 Wildcats Sink Vikings, 85-56
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Five Wildcats scored in double figures, led by Jacob Pullen's 18, as 12th-ranked Kansas State ran its winning streak to nine games with an 85-56 victory over Cleveland State Tuesday before a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum.
With the win, the Wildcats moved to 12-1 on the season and are off to their best start since the 1958-59 squad also began 12-1. Also, the last time a K-State team won nine games in a row was back in 1997-98, when that squad won its first nine games of the season.
Pullen led the Wildcats in scoring for the ninth time this season Tuesday, while Curtis Kelly chipped in 17 points, Denis Clemente and Dominique Sutton each scored 13 and Jamar Samuels tallied 12. Cleveland State's Jeremy Montgomery led all scorers on the night with 20 points for the Vikings (4-10).
Cleveland State scored the game's first four points to take an early lead but the Wildcats picked up the pace offensively and defensively to open up a double-digit advantage. With the Cats holding on to a 15-14 lead at the 11:28 mark, a Denis Clemente three-pointer sparked an 18-0 run to give K-State a 33-14 advantage.
K-State's largest lead before the break was 24 at 40-16 and it held a 40-19 advantage at the break. The Wildcats shot 50-percent in the first half and held the Vikings to just 26.9-percent from the floor while forcing 12 turnovers.
The Wildcats extended their lead in the second half, going on a 28-14 run in the first 12 minutes, capped by a Wally Judge tip-in at the eight-minute mark that extended the lead to 35. Cleveland State put together an 8-0 run late in the game, giving the Wildcats a 29-point victory.
K-State dominated on the boards in the contest, out-rebounding the Vikings by a 50-30 margin. Senior forward Luis Colon paced the Wildcats in that area, pulling down a career-high-tying 12 total rebounds including five on the offensive end.
The Wildcats wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule Sunday when they host South Dakota at Bramlage Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. The contest will be televised regionally by Fox Sports Kansas City and can be heard over radio on the K-State Sports Network.