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K-State holds off Presbyterian

Nov 19, 2010 - 5:21 AM Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Jacob Pullen scored 15 points and Rodney McGruder added 13 points as third-ranked Kansas State held off Presbyterian, 76-67, in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic at the Bramlage Coliseum.

Wally Judge, Jamar Samuels and Martavious Irving supplied 10 points each for the Wildcats (3-0), who will face Gonzaga Monday night in a semifinal in Kansas City.

Pullen moved past Cartier Martin into sixth place on the Wildcats' all-time scoring list with 1,554.

Al'Lonzo Coleman scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Josh Johnson provided 14 points and seven boards for the Blue Hose (0-2), who lost their season-opener to Vanderbilt last Friday.

"I could not be prouder of our team," said Presbyterian head coach Gregg Nibert. "We had to make Kansas State play defense and not turn the ball over. Obviously, I think when we turn the ball over that it costs us. We had 18 turnovers to their four. I think we have one of the best low-post players in the country in Coleman. He can score on the block."

Facing a 14-point deficit at the half, the visitors chipped away and pulled to within 61-57 on a Jake Troyli three-pointer with just under 10 minutes to play.

A little more than a minute later, Khalid Mutakabbir knocked down a trifecta to trim the Kansas State advantage to 63-60.

The game remained close down the stretch, and with under three minutes left K- State received a Samuels tip-in for a six-point lead. The Wildcats forced several turnovers before a McGruder trifecta made it a 74-65 game with 52 seconds to play, dashing any hopes of a major upset.

"I was not happy with any part of the game today," Kansas State head coach Frank Martin said. "I thought that we were lethargic. I thought we were disinterested. I thought defensively we were bad from the jump. By no way, shape or form do I want to take anything away from Presbyterian. They deserved to win today."

Presbyterian stayed close for most of the first half before a 10-2 spurt gave the Wildcats a 36-22 advantage with 3:20 to play before the intermission.

Pullen's three-pointer with about a minute left gave the hosts a 44-30 lead at the break.

Game Notes

Pullen had his 79th career double figure scoring game. He has led the team in scoring 34 times...Irving's 10 points were a career-best...The Wildcats have won 25 of their last 26 November home games, including 10 straight since November 29, 2008...Kansas State is 6-0 all-time against the Big South Conference...Presbyterian returned all five starters from a 5-26 team that made its Division I debut last season. The Clinton, South Carolina school has approximately 1,200 undergraduates, making it one of the smallest schools at the Division I level.