Wildcat’s drop heartbreaker on Valentine’s Day


    Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day in which a person spends time with some one they care about, but for the 12,528 fans in Bramlage Coliseum, Saturday afternoon was spent with a much-hated rival — the Kansas Jayhawks.
    K-State (17-8, 6-5 Big 12 Conference) led by as many as 16 points in the first half but No. 16 KU (20-5, 9-1 Big 12) eventually battled back and defeated the Wildcats 85-74.
    The first half started with a very upbeat tempo with both teams trading baskets. Two made free throws by sophomore guard Jacob Pullen gave K-State a 12-11 lead with 15:34 left in the first half.
    The Wildcats used the momentum of gaining the lead to go on an 18-3 run to amount a 30-14 lead. Junior guard Denis Clemente lead the charge for the Wildcats, scoring  11 points during that run. Clemente would end up scoring 18 total points in the first half.
    At this point the Jayhawks looked like they were down for the count, but K-State’s offense went stagnant, allowing KU to go on a 24-8 run to tie the game at 38-38 with 1:41 left in the half.
    “Early in the game, our defense created a lot of fastbreak opportunities,” Pullen said. “We had them scrambling a lot in the first half. They got several points in a row, which allowed them to get back and set their defense and we weren’t able to get shots we wanted.”
    K-State scored five straight points to take the lead back, but a Brady Morningstar 3-pointer at the buzzer brought the score to 43-42 at halftime.
    “We went on our run and you know a good team like Kansas is going to make their run eventually,” senior forward Darren Kent said. “We stayed positive and we knew that if we played hard and executed offensively, we would give ourselves a chance at the end.”
    Kansas came out after halftime and continued their offensive success against K-State’s defense. KU recaptured the lead at 50-49 on a Marcus Morris free throw with 14:39 left in the second half.
    It was a lead the Jayhawks would never relinquish.
    K-State trailed by as many as 11 in the second half and came as close as one point of the Jayhawks after Pullen made a free throw after he was fouled on a 3-pointer.
    Sophomore forward Cole Aldrich and junior guard Sherron Collins led KU; both scored double-digits points in the second half, and ended the game with 21 and 19 points, respectively.
    Brady Morningstar was another important contributor to the Jayhawk offense, scoring 12 points on 4-4 shooting from behind the 3-point line.
    “Give them credit,” head coach Frank Martin said. “I never like to take away from the other team when the other team plays well and makes shots.”
    Once again, Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen, who scored 26 and 22 points respectively, led the Wildcats offensively. Before Saturday, K-State was 11-0 when both Clemente and Pullen scored double-digit points.
    “A loss is a loss,” Pullen said. “As competitive of a team as we are, as much as we want to win, its tough to lose. We’ve got to get over it and move on and get ready for the next game.”   
    Next for the Wildcats will be the North Carolina Central Eagles, who are just 2-23 on the season, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Bramlage Coliseum.