K-State Agonizes Aggies

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Led by senior guard Denis Clemente's 24 points, No. 13/12 Kansas State bounced back from a tough road loss last Saturday to defeat Texas A&M in its nationally-televised Big 12 home-opener, 88-65. The victory set a new school record for consecutive home wins at 13 and moved head coach Frank Martin's career record in Bramlage Coliseum to 42-5.

K-State (14-2, 1-1) shot a solid 47.5 percent from the field (28-of-59) and out-rebounded the Aggies 47-32. The Wildcats were able to capitalize on Texas A&M (12-4, 1-1) miscues, converting 28 points off of 15 turnovers.

The backcourt tandem of Clemente and junior guard Jacob Pullen combined for 39 points in the contest as Pullen added 15 points of his own. Clemente, who also registered six assists and one steal to the Wildcat effort, notched his highest point total of the season, bettering the 22 points he dropped at UNLV on Dec. 12.

The two teams battled back-and-forth in the early going, exchanging baskets and playing tough defense for the first five minutes of the contest. Clemente broke the game open for the Wildcats, hitting two shots from behind the arc in a span of 60 seconds to break open a nine-point lead for K-State. Clemente converted five three pointers on 5-of-10 shooting and ended the half with 20 points, the most points scored by a Wildcat in a half all season. Sophomore forward Jamar Samuels chipped in 12 points of his own to extend the K-State lead at the break to 12, 45-33.

K-State came out firing in the second half, going on an 11-1 run to extend the lead to 22 in the first five minutes of the frame. Sophomore Victor Ojeleye provided a spark off of the bench, tallying five points and two rebounds in 14 solid minutes. The Aggies didn't give up though, fighting back to cut the lead to 12 with 6:28 to play. In the end, K-State's physical style of play was too much for A&M to overcome, and the Wildcats were able to pull away and close out the 23-point victory.

Sophomore forward Jamar Samuels tallied 19 points for the Wildcats, including 8-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe. Junior forward Dominique Sutton was a monster on the boards, tying his career high with 12 rebounds to go along with his 12 points.

The next action for the Wildcats comes Saturday, as they travel to Boulder, Colo., to take on Colorado. The game, which is scheduled to tip-off at 3 p.m., can be seen regionally across the Big 12 Network, and will be broadcast over the air on the K-State Sports Network.