Wildcats Rally in OT for NIT Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Jacob Pullen scored seven of his career-high 32 points in overtime as Kansas State outlasted Illinois State 83-79 Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Darren Kent added 19 points for the Wildcats (22-11). Dominique Sutton finished with nine points and 12 rebounds, including an offensive grab he put back to tie the game at 73 with four-tenths of a second remaining and force the overtime.

The game had a rarely-seen play near the end leaving fans, players and coaches seeking an explanation. With 1.0 seconds remaining on the clock and Ron Anderson at the free-throw line with the Wildcats ahead 81-79, Anderson missed the second of his two free throws.  The ball bounced off the rim and fell to the floor without being touched by either team, but the clock was inadvertantly started and time expired.

The officials came together to rule that because the clock started inadvertantly prior to either team controlling the ball, possession was determined by alternating possession.  The arrow favored the Wildcats, who got the ball under their own basket and sealed the win. For extra measure, Pullen inbounded the ball off the back of an Illinois State player and made a layup as time expired to get the win 83-79.

Champ Oguchi led Illinois State (24-10) with 23 points but fouled out midway through the overtime with the Redbirds trailing 77-76.

Kansas State seized control of the game in overtime, with a layup by Pullen putting the Wildcats ahead for good at 80-79 with 14 seconds left.

Neither team could establish a lead until a 10-2 Kansas State run gave the Wildcats a 27-20 advantage in the opening period. But a basket by Illinois State's Osiris Eldridge with 5:59 left sparked a 12-4 run to close out the half. The Redbirds held Kansas State to one field goal in the final 6:11 and led 32-31 at the break.