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Pullen guides Kansas State over Gonzaga

Nov 23, 2010 - 5:49 AM Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Jacob Pullen scored 18 points and Will Spradling added 13 off the bench, as fourth-ranked Kansas State made its highly-anticipated date with Duke possible thanks to a convincing 81-64 victory over 22nd-ranked Gonzaga in semifinal action from the CBE Classic.

Rodney McGruder donated 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while Curtis Kelly saw his first action this season after serving a three-game suspension due to disciplinary reasons for Kansas State (4-0), which will face the top- ranked Blue Devils in Tuesday night's title game.

Robert Sacre led Gonzaga (2-2) with 17 points. Steven Gray was next up on the score ledger with 15 for the Bulldogs.

The Wildcats fed off the pro-KSU crowd at the game's outset, jumping off to a 10-2 advantage on Pullen's transition trey. Gonzaga trimmed the deficit to two points, but Kansas State again opened an eight-point edge at 25-17 on a three- pointer from Pullen and a layup by Jamar Samuels. The margin escalated to a dozen points at 36-24 thanks to Spradling's triple with just under five minutes to go in the half and Martavious Irving followed suit for a 15-point game.

The lead grew to as many as 17 points, but Gonzaga scored the half's final six points to make the margin a more manageable 11 points, 49-38.

Two free throws by Sacre got the Bulldogs within six at 53-47, but the Kansas State defense tightened and ramped up the pressure, holding Gonzaga to one David Stockton three-pointer over a five-minute stretch. In that time, the margin grew to 15 points at 65-50 after two Spradling free throws.

Kansas State opened its first 20-point lead of the night at 74-54 on Nick Russell's jumper, and the Bulldogs never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Kansas State made 50.9 percent of its shots, including a 12-of-26 effort from beyond the arc...Kelly scored just three points, but did add four rebounds and two blocks off the bench...Stockton scored seven points for the Bulldogs, who made just 33.3 percent of their shots against Kansas State's swarming defense.