The K-State men’s basketball team will take a break from conference play this week as the Wildcats host the North Carolina Central Eagles on Tuesday night in Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State (17-8, 6-5 Big 12 Conference) is coming off a 85-74 loss to the No. 16 Kansas Jayhawks on Valentine’s Day. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Wildcats.
During Saturday’s game, the Wildcats led by as many as 16 in the first half but the Jayhawks made a couple of scoring runs, which allowed them to get back into the game and eventually take the lead. K-State’s offense was never able to recover from the defensive letdowns.
“We felt that we had that game in our hands and even in the second half when we made our run to get back into the game, we thought we had that game,” said sophomore guard Jacob Pullen. “This loss won’t hurt our confidence at all.”
Offensively the Wildcats were led by Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen who scored 26 and 22 points, respectively. Saturday’s loss was the first time all season that the Wildcats were defeated when Clemente and Pullen each scored in double digits.
Senior forward Darren Kent was the only other Wildcat to score more than 10 points, notching 12.
KU was led by sophomore forward Cole Aldrich and junior guard Sherron Collins who had 21 and 19 points, respectively.
“A loss is a loss,” Pullen said. “We’ve got to get over it and move on and get ready for the next game.”
North Carolina Central (2-23) comes into Tuesday’s game on a five-game losing streak and the fifth worst RPI in all of Division I. The Eagles are 0-13 on the road this season.
NCCU is led offensively by freshman guard Jamar Briscoe, who is averaging 16.7 points per game. Guards Vincent Davis and Bryan Ayala are also averaging double-digits, with 11.4 and 10.9 points per game.
“With a young team you get in a rhythm during conference play,” said head coach Frank Martin. “It gets a little monotonous seeing the same teams over and over. We thought it would be good to get a non conference game in to break it up.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.