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Pullen Torches No. 1 Kansas with Career-High 38


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Jacob Pullen

GO WILDCATS
Jacob Pullen
GO WILDCATS

Feb. 14, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - It was all Jacob Pullen on this Valentine's Day as Kansas State warmed the hearts of a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum defeating No. 1 Kansas 84-68. K-State moves to 17-9 overall and 5-6 in conference play.

Pullen, a 6-foot senior who ranks in the top five in 17 career categories for Kansas State, had 23 points in a take-charge first half that propelled the Wildcats to a nine-point halftime lead. Pullen, whose previous career high was 34 points, was 5-for-6 from 3-point range but he scored in almost any possible way in what may have been his finest game as a Wildcat. He was 15-for-19 from the free-throw line and had five assists to finish with a career-high 38 points.

Kansas was unable to get its inside game in gear. Early foul trouble plagued the Jayhawks' top two scorers, twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. Tyrel Reed had 14 points for Kansas as KU lost in Bramlage Coliseum for the second time in 23 games. Marcus Morris had 13 points but Markieff Morris had only three points, and the Big 12's leading rebounder did not get one board.

But all that was forgotten before a loud, packed house Monday night when Pullen led a first-half 21-6 spree that put the Wildcats in charge for good.

Kansas came in leading the nation in shooting at 52.3 percent but the Jayhawks shot only 44 percent against Kansas State.

With about 12 minutes left, the Wildcats started getting in foul trouble, with Curtis Kelly, Rodney McGruder, Jamar Samuels and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts all having three. Samuels picked up his fourth at the 11:33 mark. But Markieff Morris, having his worst game of the season, made only one free throw and the Wildcats led 60-47.
Then, with the crowd getting louder and louder, McGruder scored on a putback and after a Kansas miss, Pullen made it 65-47 with a 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down.

Just as they had done in losing to No. 3 Texas on Jan. 22, the Jayhawks had trouble pounding the ball inside. The Morris twins had two fouls apiece nine minutes into the game and the Jayhawks were missing 6-9 sophomore Thomas Robinson, who is out with a knee injury. Markieff Morris played only eight minutes in the first half and didn't score.

Pullen's top game in the Big 12 this season was 22 points, a figure he reached with almost five minutes to go in the first half. The preseason pick for Big 12 player of the year had 11 points in the early run. He got it started with a steal that Shane Southwell converted into a basket and then drilled two straight 3-pointers.

Fouled by Tyshawn Taylor on another attempt from behind the arc, he made all three foul shots before finishing the flurry with two free throws when Markieff Morris was called for an intentional foul. Henriquez-Roberts and McGruder each added 10 points to K-State's winning effort.

K-State will stay at home to take on Oklahoma this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The game will be a part of K-State PROUD's "blackout" and will be televised on the Big 12 Network.