K-State Hosts Fort Hays State Tuesday

Game Information

Kansas State (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Fort Hays State (3-0*)

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tipoff: 7:10 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.  |  Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City/ESPN Full Court (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst; Kevin Landy, producer)  |  Channel Directory: DirecTV 672, Dish Network 446, AT&T U-verse 750   |  Internet: www.ESPN360.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Matt Walters, analyst)   |  Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  |  Local Stations: Sports Radio 1350 AM (KMAN; Manhattan), 102.9-FM (KQTP; Topeka)  |  Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 121

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 48-25 (.657) in his third season.  Fort Hays State - Mark Johnson (Pittsburg State '93) is 161-75 (.684) in his ninth season as a head coach and at Fort Hays State.   

Last Time Out: K-State defeated IUPUI, 70-57 on Nov. 28, while Fort Hays State defeated Nebraska-Kearney, 75-60, on Nov. 24.

Series: Tied 2-2  |  Last time: K-State, 60-32, in 1947  |  vs. MIAA: K-State is 50-26  |  Frank Martin is 0-0 all-time vs. Fort Hays State, while Mark Johnson is 0-0 all-time vs. K-State.  The Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 95-59, in exhibition play on Nov. 3, 2007.   

Rankings: K-State is receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.  Fort Hays State is not ranked in Division II poll.

Tickets: $20 (bench and Cat Cushion), $30 (chairbacks) at the Athletics Ticket Office at 800.221.CATS or via www.k-statesports.com

*Fort Hays State plays host to Newman on Monday night before playing on Tuesday against K-State.

K-State continues homestand Tuesday vs. Fort Hays State
Kansas State continues a season-long four-game homestand, as the Wildcats play host to Division II member Fort Hays State (3-0) on Tuesday night at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.  It marks the third consecutive season that K-State has hosted a Kansas member (Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State and Washburn) of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in the regular season, following contests against Pittsburg State (76-66) on Nov. 11, 2007 and Emporia State (82-60) on Nov. 19, 2008.  This will be the first official meeting with Fort Hays State since 1947, but the two teams played an exhibition game prior to the 2007-08 season with the Wildcats posting a 95-59 victory.  K-State has won 28 of its last 29 home games in the month of December dating back to the 2002-03 season, including 16 consecutive home wins in the month since Dec. 30, 2004.

The Wildcats were sluggish in their return to the court after the Thanksgiving break, posting a season lows in points (70), field goal percentage (42.4) and rebounds (38) to go with a season-high 17 turnovers in a 70-57 win over IUPUI on Saturday at the Sprint Center.  However, the squad found a way in the second half, using a 14-1 run early in the frame to run out to a 20-point lead and hold on for their fifth victory of the season.  The team concluded the month of November with a 5-1 record, tying the school record for wins in the month while also posting their highest winning percentage (.833) since going unbeaten in 2005-06. 

K-State was led once again by junior Jacob Pullen, who paced four players in double figures with a game-high 25 points.  Pullen, who posted 20 or more points in consecutive games for the fourth time in his career, was solid all-around against the Jaguars with a season-best seven assists, six rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes.  Junior forward Dominique Sutton posted a season-high 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with six rebounds, while junior forward Curtis Kelly recorded his second double-double in three games with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a career-best five blocks.  Senior Denis Clemente, who scored 12 points against IUPUI, eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier with two free throws just a minute into the game.

K-State is averaging just over 80 points per game (80.2 ppg.) on 46.5 percent shooting, including 32.7 percent from 3-point range, with 41.0 rebounds, 15.0 assists, 6.7 steals and 5.7 blocks per game.  The squad has topped 80 or more points in four of six games, while hitting on 45 percent or better from the field on four occasions.  Jacob Pullen leads four players in double figures at 17.8 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from the field to go with team bests in 3-point field goals (11), free throws (38), free throw percentage (79.2), assists (24) and steals (10), while backcourt mate Denis Clemente averages 13.3 points per game on 33.8 percent from the field.  Junior Curtis Kelly also averages 13.3 points to go with a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game.  Sophomore Jamar Samuels, who did not play against IUPUI, also is in double figures at 11.0 points on a team-best 63.3 percent from the field.

Projected Starters
Kansas State (5-1)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, Jr.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 180, Sr.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 218, Jr.)
F - #24 Curtis Kelly (6-8, 239, Jr.)
C - #15 Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (7-0, 245, Fr.)

Fort Hays State (3-0*)
G - #5 Dominique Jones (5-8, 175, Jr.)
G - #22 Orrin Greer (6-3, 205, Sr.)
G - #33 Corbin Kuntzsch (6-4, 190, Jr.)
F - #30 Ken Bowman (6-9, 240, Jr.)
F - #35 Tim Peintner (6-6, 200, Sr.)

K-State vs. Division II
Tonight's game marks the third consecutive season that Kansas State has played host to a Division II team at Bramlage Coliseum.  Third-year head coach Frank Martin made a commitment to play a Kansas member (Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, Washburn) of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association whenever possible in the regular season.  This started with a 76-66 win over Pittsburg State on Nov. 11, 2007 before an 82-60 victory over Emporia State on Nov. 19, 2008.  The squad also plays one of these teams in the preseason, including an 89-53 win over Pittsburg State on Nov. 8. 

Recapping the IUPUI Game
Junior guard Jacob Pullen led a quartet of Wildcats in double figures with 25 points and junior forward Curtis Kelly collected his second double-double of the season as Kansas State ran past IUPUI, 70-57, Saturday afternoon at the Sprint Center. 

Pullen's 25 points were one shy of his season-high of 26 as the junior has combined for 51 points in the last two games.  He also added a season-high seven assists on the afternoon.  Kelly's 11 points and 11 rebounds marked his second double-double in his last three games.  Junior forward Dominique Sutton notched his first double-digit scoring game on the season, dropping 14 points on the Jaguars to go along with six rebounds and three assists.  Senior guard Denis Clemente added 12 points of his own, marking the sixth time this season the K-State has had four players score in double digits.  Clemente topped the 1,000-point mark for his career with a pair of free throws just over a minute into the contest.

K-State played stifling defense all afternoon, forcing the Jaguars into 23 turnovers which the Wildcats turned into 28 points. The Wildcats defense also held IUPUI to just 38-percent shooting in the contest.

The Wildcats came out on fire as they scored the game's first nine points but the Jaguars battled back with 11 of the next 13 points to tie the game at 11. But, K-State would extend its lead once again as an 11-0 run followed to up the lead to 22-11.  A 3-point play from Pullen with six seconds left extended the Wildcat lead to 40-29 at the break. K-State shot 41.2-percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes as Pullen led the way with 14 first-half points. The Jaguars hit 6-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half to stay in the contest.

Kansas State opened up a 20-point lead midway through the second half at 56-36, but IUPUI answered with a 7-0 run to close the gap to 13 at the eight-minute mark. The Wildcats controlled the game from there, closing out the contest with a 70-57 victory.

Postgame Notes vs. IUPUI
--Kansas State moved to 5-1 on the season with Saturday's win... Kansas State is 3-1 (.750) all-time in the Sprint Center... The team is now 101-68 (.598) all-time in games played in Kansas City, which spans three different arenas... The paid attendance on Saturday afternoon was 7,053.

--The Wildcats' starting lineup Saturday afternoon was junior guard Jacob Pullen, senior guard Denis Clemente, junior forward Dominique Sutton, junior forward Curtis Kelly and freshman center Jordan Henriquez-Roberts... It marks the fifth time this season the team has used this starting combination... Pullen has now started in 40 straight games for the Wildcats, extending his streak as the team's leader in most consecutive games played to 73... K-State is now 4-1 on the year with this starting lineup.

--Saturday's game marked the first meeting between K-State and IUPUI on the hardwood... K-State is now 31-3 all-time vs. the Summit League.

--Four players scored in double figures for Kansas State, marking the fifth time this season that at least four players were in double digits.

--K-State guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente had a combined total of 37 points marking the 33rd time they have had a combined score of 20 or more points...  Pullen finished the game with 25 points to record his 11th career game with 20 or more points.  Clemente, who eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier with a pair of free throws just over a minute into the game, finished with 12 points.   

Recapping the Puerto Rico Tipoff
--Kansas State has a 109-72 (.601) all-time record in its 73rd in-season tournament in school history... It marks the 73rd in-season tournament dating all the way back to 1935... The Wildcats played in at least one in-season tournament for 36 straight seasons from 1943-78, including the annual Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. ... This was the team's sixth tournament outside the continental United States and the first since playing in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands in 2002. 

--For the tournament, Kansas State averaged 79.0 points on 45.2 percent shooting for the tournament, including 36 percent from 3-point range, with 39.7 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 5.0 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.  The team topped 80 or more points in two of three games.  The Wildcats defeated Boston University, 80-70, in the first round and Dayton, 83-75, in the third-place game in between in an 86-74 loss to Ole Miss. 

--Kansas State knocked off a ranked non-conference opponent in No. 18/21 Dayton, 83-75, for the first time since beating No. 19 Iowa, 86-78, at home on Dec. 23, 2000 and the first against a ranked non-conference foe on a neutral floor since the Wildcats defeated No. 17 Arkansas, 47-46, in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 27, 1980.

--Senior Denis Clemente and junior Jacob Pullen were both named to the Puerto Rico Tipoff All-Tournament team... Pullen averaged 19.0 points on 40.5 percent shooting (15-of-37), including 33.3 percent (6-of-18), during the three-game tournament, including a season-best 26 points against Dayton in the third-place game.  Clemente averaged 15.0 points on 34.1 percent shooting (14-of-41), including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from beyond the arc.  Pullen scored in double figures in all three games, while Clemente was in double figures twice.

--Junior Curtis Kelly was the only other Wildcat to average double figures for the tournament with 12.7 points per game on 56.0 percent shooting (14-of-25) to go with a team-best 8.3 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game.  Sophomore Jamar Samuels averaged 8.3 points on 60 percent shooting to go with 5.0 rebounds per game, while freshman Rodney McGruder averaged 8.0 points on 50 percent shooting.

--Freshman Rodney McGruder has a breakout game in the opener against Boston University with a game-high 20 points on 5-of-6 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with five rebounds in a season-best 22 minutes.  McGruder has scored in double figures in three games.

The Book on Fort Hays State
A member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), Fort Hays State enters tonight's game with Newman with a perfect 3-0 record on the season.  The Tigers opened the season with an 82-46 win over Friends University on Nov. 15 before gaining victories against Central Christian College (85-66) on Nov. 18 and at Nebraska-Kearney (75-60) on Nov. 24.  The team lost an exhibition contest to Kansas, 107-68, on Nov. 3 before earning a home exhibition win against Sterling on Nov. 10.

Fort Hays State is averaging 80.7 points per game on the season on 44.1 percent shooting, including 30.0 percent from 3-point range, with 44.7 rebounds, 20.7 assists, 8.3 steals and 4.0 blocks per game.  The team is a solid 76.1 percent from the free throw line.  The Tigers have four players averaging in double figures led by senior Tim Peintner, who averaging 14.3 points on 55.9 percent (19-of-34) from the field to go with a team-best 8.7 rebounds per game.  Junior guard Corbin Kuntzsch is second in scoring at 11.7 points per game on 42.9 percent shooting to go with 7.0 rebounds per game, including a team-high five 3-point field goals.  Junior guard Dominique Jones and senior Orrin Greer also score in double figures at 11.0 and 10.0 points per game, respectively.  Senior guard Willie Hassell paces the team in assists (11), while senior forward Ryan Herrman is second in rebounding at 7.7 per contest.

The Tigers return five lettermen, including three starters, from a team that produced a 20-9 overall record, including a tie for third place in league play with a 12-8 mark in 2008-09.  It marked the fourth 20-win season for Mark Johnson at Fort Hays State. 

Fort Hays State is led by head coach Mark Johnson, who has posted a 161-75 (.682) overall record in his ninth season.  Johnson ranks among the top 20 active NCAA Division II coaches in winning percentage and has guided the Tigers to three NCAA Tournament appearances.  His 2005-06 team finished 27-4 overall and won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season title with an 18-1 record.  The team was ranked No. 1 in the nation twice during the season and fell in the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals to Northern (S.D.) State.
Series vs. Fort Hays State
This will be the fifth meeting between K-State and Fort Hays State on the hardwood with each school winning twice in the series.  The teams haven't met officially since a 60-32 win by the Wildcats in 1947.  The series dates back to Dec. 8, 1936 when the Tigers earned a 47-25 win in Manhattan.  The schools have played several times during the exhibition season, including a 95-59 victory by K-State on Nov. 3, 2007.
'Cats in December
Kansas State will look to continue its strong play in December, where the Wildcats have won 33 of their last 43 games.  The squad is 441-230 (.657) all-time in December with 28 wins in their last 29 games at home in the month dating back to the 2002-03 season, including a current of streak of 16 consecutive home victories dating back to the 2004-05 season.  The team's last home loss in December came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004.  K-State has won four or more games in the month the last seven seasons, including six in both 2002-03 and 2006-07.  The squad has posted a winning season in December 61 times in their history, including seven consecutive seasons dating back to 2002-03.   The Wildcats won a school-record nine games in the month nine times in their history, including perfect 9-0 marks in 1947-48 and 1993-94.

Last season, K-State posted a 4-1 mark in the month with a loss at Oregon (75-70) and wins against Southern Miss (74-55) in the Sprint Center and Gardner-Webb (107-48), Centenary (73-51) and Wagner (82-53) at home.
Quite A Duo
Senior Denis Clemente and junior Jacob Pullen have become quite the scoring duo for the Wildcats in their two seasons together.  The two have combined to score 1,139 points in just over one season together, including finishing first and second in scoring in 2008-09.  They have combined to average 31.1 points per game through six games this season, including Pullen's team-leading 17.8 points per game.  The 31.1 combined average ties for the sixth-highest by a guard duo in school history, trailing Chuckie Williams and Mike Evans in 1974-75 (39.1) and 1975-76 (38.8), Askia Jones and Anthony Beane in 1993-94 (33.5), Steve Henson and Jean Derouillere in 1989-90 (33.1), Derouillere and Jeff Wires in 1990-91 (31.5) and Henson and LaKeith Humphrey in 1988-89 (31.1). 

They have combined to score 20 or more points 33 times in 38 games dating back to last season, including 30 or more points on 20 occasions.  Clemente and Pullen combined to score 40 or more points for the fifth time in a single game in the win over No. 18/21 Dayton with 21 and 26 points, respectively, while the 47-point effort was only topped by a pair of 48-point outputs against Texas on Jan. 30 (Clemente 44, Pullen 4) and Kansas (Clemente 26, Pullen 22) on Feb. 14.  The contest against the Flyers marked just the second time that both players have topped 20 or more points in the same contest since the Kansas game.      

Clemente Tops 1,000
Senior Denis Clemente eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier with a pair of free throws just over a minute into the IUPUI game on Saturday.  Clemente, who transferred to K-State after playing two seasons at Miami (Fla.), has totaled 560 points his two-year career on 39.4 percent shooting (194-of-492) from the field, including 35.8 percent (69-of-193) from 3-point range, in 38 games.  He has a chance to break into the school's top-10 of career points by a transfer, needing just 243 points to tie Elliot Hatcher (803; 1994-96) for 10th place.  He scored 450 points in his two years as a Hurricane, connecting on 38.7 percent (167-of-432) of his field goals, including 31.5 percent (57-of-181) from beyond the arc, in 61 games.
Pullen Moving Up the Charts
Junior Jacob Pullen is nearing several career milestone as he moves into his third season as a Wildcat.  With his 25-point effort against IUPUI on Saturday, Pullen now has 898 career points, which ranks 28th all-time in school history.  He needs 102 points to become the 21st player in school history to tally 1,000 career points.  He ranks in the top 10 in both 3-point field goals made and attempted, ranking fifth in attempts with 389 and sixth in makes with 126.  He needs 50 3-point field goal attempts to move ahead of Lance Harris (439, 2003-07) for fourth place, while he needs 16 3-point field goals to move past Will Scott (142, 1986-88) for fifth place all-time.  Pullen also became the sixth player in school history to top 100 steals in a career with his three steals against Boston University in the opener in Puerto Rico.  He needs seven more thefts to move into fourth-place all-time ahead of Belvis Noland (110, 1993-95) and Aaron Swartzendruber (110, 1994-98).  Pullen could join Steve Henson (1987-90) and Askia Jones (1989-94) as the only players with 1,000 points (needs 102 points), 200 3-pointers (needs 74), 250 assists (needs 11) and 100 steals (already has 104).  He currently holds the longest current games played streak at 73 games, while he has started 42 consecutive games.