Cats Fall in Overtime Thriller, 81-79

MANHATTAN, Kan. - A made bucket by Kansas' Sherron Collins and two late free throws sealed No. 11 Kansas State's fate as the second-ranked Jayhawks topped K-State, 81-79, in overtime Saturday evening at Bramlage Coliseum.

The game, which featured 20 lead changes and 14 ties, went into overtime for just the 14th time in the 268 meetings between the two in-state rivals. With the Jayhawks holding a one-point advantage with less than 10 seconds remaining, Collins made a jumper and was fouled to give KU a three-point lead. Collins would miss the free throw, but Kansas' Cole Aldrich pulled in his game-high 11th rebound at the worst time for the Cats, which all but put the game away.

Senior guard Jacob Pullen led all scorers with 22 on 8-of-18 shooting. Pullen was a true floor general, dishing out five assists along the way while only turning the ball over once. Aldrich led the Jayhawks with 18 points.

Freshman forward Wally Judge provided a much-needed spark off of the bench, falling just one rebound short of recording his first career double-double as he notched 10 points and a career-high nine rebounds.

Both teams started slow offensively as Kansas held a slim 6-4 lead five minutes into the game. K-State took its first lead of the contest when Denis Clemente hit a three to put the Wildcats up 9-8 with 13:32 left in the half. The lead was exchanged four more times in the half, and KU's Tyshawn Taylor hit a pair of free throws at the 3:41 mark to open up a five-point lead for the Jayhawks, their largest of the half. But K-State battled back, cutting the lead to just one going into the intermission, 31-30.

Kansas came out hot in the second half, going on a 9-2 run in the first 2:30, which was capped by a Morningstar 3-pointer. K-State battled back to cut the lead to three at the 12:46 mark following a 15-footer from Jamar Samuels, bringing the score to 43-40.

K-State took its first lead since the 9:46 mark of the first half, when Curtis Kelly stole an errant KU pass and pushed it ahead to Pullen for the go-ahead a layup at 46-45. Kansas reclaimed a one-point advantage at 50-49 two minuets later on a Collins layup. K-State would reclaim the lead on a slam dunk by Samuels at the 5:55 mark, to give the Wildcats a 57-55 lead.

The next two minuets saw both squads trade shots as Morningstar hit a three to give the Jayhawks a two-point advantage going into the final media timeout. Rodney McGruder converted a crucial three-point play to tie up the score at 69 with only 34 seconds to play, and following a Collins turnover with four seconds left, the game was sent to overtime.

K-State controlled the opening tip of the extra period and took advantage with a Sutton lay-in to go up by two. The Jayhawks regained the lead with a jumper from Taylor with 3:24 to play. The Wildcats took their final lead of the game on a pair of free throws at the 2:22 mark, but KU answered right back with its six points over the final minutes of the contest.

The next action for the Wildcats comes Tuesday as they travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a clash with Nebraska. The game, which is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip, can be seen regionally on the Big 12 Network and heard over the radio on the K-State Sports Network.