Duke Drops Wildcats

Martavious Irving

Nov. 24, 2010

Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

The Kansas State Wildcats took on the nation’s top team on Tuesday night in the championship game of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, but it was a flurry of turnovers that kept K-State from defeating the Duke Blue Devils. The Wildcats dropped their first game of the season 82-68 as five Blue Devils scored in double digits on that night.

K-State fell behind by as many as 11 points in the first half as the Blue Devils went to the line 18 times making 14 of their attempts. The Wildcats again struggled at the free-throw line making just 6-of-13 from the charity stripe in the opening stanza. The Wildcats were able to cut into Duke’s lead in the closing minutes of the first half, however, reducing it to seven points and eventually eight at the break.

The first half began the story of turnovers. K-State turned the ball over to Duke 12 times resulting in 16 points for the Blue Devils. Duke, on the other hand, gave K-State possession just four times with the Wildcats able to convert that to only five points. Duke’s tight hold on possession played a big part in K-State not being able to cut into the lead any more by the half.

Duke began turning the ball over early in the second half allowing K-State to reduce the lead to five points but Duke promptly pushed it back to nine with the Blue Devils hitting a 3-pointer in transition just before the under-16 minutes media timeout.

The lead continued to grow with more mistakes and turnovers by the Wildcats forcing K-State head coach Frank Martin to call a timeout with 12:35 remaining and his team down 15 points after two quick scores by Duke. K-State was able to pull within 11 points multiple times but each time could not push the deficit to single digits as the Blue Devils answered the challenge and never allowed the Wildcats within striking distance.

In total, K-State tallied 21 turnovers resulting in 25 points for Duke. Duke only surrendered the ball to the Wildcats 14 times.

The Blue Devils also found themselves at the free-throw line often shooting a total of 31 free attempts and making 24. The Wildcats only attempted 23 free throws in the contest and made just 11.

Duke was able to slow the Wildcats on offense by shutting down Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Jacob Pullen. The senior point guard amassed only four points on the night hitting a 3-pointerearly in the first half and making just one free throw.

That put the pressure on K-State’s bench to come up with points, and it did.

K-State’s bench players accounted for 45 of the team’s points – 66.2 percent – thanks to the efforts of Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels. Kelly led the team with 19 points, and Samuels added 12. Each pulled down six rebounds in the losing effort, and Samuels earned All-Tournament Team honors for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats return home to take on Texas Southern at 7 p.m. Friday in Bramlage Coliseum. The match can be heard on KMAN 1350 with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber on the call.