Wildcats maul Tigers in Bramlage


    In a sweet return to the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum, the K-State Wildcats defeated the Missouri Tigers, 88-72, Wednesday night, earning their second Big 12 Conference win in four days.
    K-State (13-7, 2-4 Big 12 Conference) used pressure defense to force the Tigers (17-4, 4-2 Big 12) into 13 first-half turnovers, which the Wildcats used to score 18 points.
    The Cats led by as many as 17 points in the first half and took a 46-33 lead into the break. It was the first time in a Big 12 game that the Wildcats have been in front at halftime.
    “We wanted to get out and scare them and show them how aggressive we can be,” said sophomore guard Jacob Pullen.
    Missouri kept within striking distance behind the shooting of senior guard Matt Lawrence. Lawrence scored 14 points in the first half on 5-5 shooting from the field.
    K-State was led in the first half by freshman forward Jamar Samuels, who had 11 points. The Wildcats ended the first half on a Denis Clemente 3-pointer at the buzzer.
    “We went on a losing streak and we had our heads down,” Samuels said. “We came out tonight and played with more passion.”
    After Clemente ended the first half with a 3-pointer, Pullen opened the second with a trey of his own. Pullen followed this with two more 3-pointers, scoring the first nine points of the second half for the Wildcats.
    The Wildcats kept the defensive pressure on the Tigers and were able to extend their lead to 25 points with 3:23 left in the game.
    “Our defense is back to what it was for the majority of the year,” said head coach Frank Martin. “That’s how we have to play to be good.”
    K-State outrebounded the Tigers, 39-35. Wednesday’s game was the 17th time this season the Wildcats have outrebounded their opponent, including five of the six Big 12 games.
    Pullen led the Wildcats offensively with 23 points. Samuels and Fred Brown scored 18 and 17 points, respectively. Clemente was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits with 10 points and he also had a game-high seven assists.
    The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from behind the 3-point line.
    “Today we just came out and had fun,” Samuels said. “It just felt like a good day today.”
    Next up for the Wildcats is the No. 12 Texas Longhorns Saturday in Austin, Texas. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.