Late run lifts K-State past MizzouFeb 26, 2011 - 10:25 PM Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Jacob Pullen ignited Kansas State early and finished with 24 points, as the Wildcats continued to build a strong resume for the NCAA Tournament with an 80-70 victory over No. 20 Missouri.
Curtis Kelly chipped in 15 points and Rodney McGruder scored 10 for Kansas State (20-9, 8-6 Big 12), which held the Tigers without a field goal during a game-sealing 16-2 run down the stretch.
The Wildcats lost to Missouri, 75-59, on January 17 during a brutal 1-4 stretch, but have turned their season around with four straight wins, kick-started by a victory over then-No. 1 Kansas on February 14.
Marcus Denmon paced Missouri (22-7, 8-6) with 22 points, while Laurence Bowers had 16 points and nine rebounds in the loss, which snapped the club's four- game winning streak.
Will Spradling's three-pointer broke a tie game with six minutes remaining and began a string of nine straight Kansas State points.
Nick Russell hit a pair from the foul line to give KSU a 69-60 lead, and two Denmon free throws briefly interrupted a 7-0 run that Pullen appropriately ended with a make from long range to put the game away.
"They made plays down the stretch. They hit a couple of big shots when we were in our zone defense when it was tied 60-60. So give credit to them," Denmon said.
Bramlage Coliseum was rowdy from the get-go, and Kansas State, namely Pullen, rode the momentum created by its fans in the early going.
Pullen made a trio of three-pointers in the first 2 1/2 minutes, and Kansas State jumped out to a 13-2 lead.
"We got some clean looks and we did a good job of running our offense," explained Pullen of the early onslaught. "We got the ball out and played good defense, which turned into good offense and we caught on fire really early."
Missouri got back in the game as Pullen sat with two fouls, tying things at 33-33 behind a 10-1 run that Phil Pressey capped with an NBA-range three with four minutes left before halftime.
The Tigers trailed 41-38 at the break, but took their first lead, 44-43, on a Kim English layup in transition less than three minutes into the second half.
The teams traded runs a little later, with KSU going on an 11-2 spurt to take a 56-49 lead, only to have Missouri answer with an 11-4 stretch over the next seven minutes.
Pullen eclipsed the 2,000-point mark in his career...In each of the previous five games, the Tigers shot over 50-percent from the floor, but they made just 40.7 percent from the field on Saturday...Missouri has not won at Kansas State since February 28, 2004...Michael Dixon scored 10 points for the Tigers...The Wildcats held a decided edge on the glass, 39-24...Missouri closes its regular season with games at Nebraska on Tuesday and at home against rival Kansas on March 5...Kansas State plays at Texas and home against Iowa State next week.
- MISSOURI: 70
KANSAS STATE: 80
Feb 26 2:07 PM
- MISSOURI: 0
KANSAS STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 26 12:03 PM
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