Pullen scores 28 as K-State routs No. 18 UNLV
LAS VEGAS (AP) Every time Jacob Pullen saw the rim, he figured his shot was going in.
Talk about a nice feeling to have.
Pullen hit seven 3-pointers and
scored a game-high 28 points, and Kansas State pounded No. 18 UNLV
95-80 on Saturday night for the Wildcats’ sixth straight win.
Pullen finished 7 of 10 from beyond
the arc and 10 of 16 from the field, as the Wildcats shot 57 percent
for the game. They were 15 of 23 from beyond the arc while building
their lead to 88-65 with about 6 minutes left.
“Every time I caught, I saw the rim
and I thought it was going in,” said Pullen, who was four points shy of
his career high. “I was laughing because (UNLV’s Oscar Bellfield) said,
‘Damn.’ I would have said the same thing if the other team was doing
that to us. They were playing good. Fortunately, the ball was bouncing
in for us.”
Denis Clemente added 22 points and
nine assists for the Kansas State (9-1), Jamar Samuels had 14 points
and Curtis Kelly scored 13.
“Hopefully by Monday, we’re in the
Top 25,” Kelly said. “We’ll keep on doing what we’ve been doing. This
was a big game for us. Jacob was big for us.”
Not that Kansas State cares that much about rankings this early in the season.
“We’ve got to take this experience
and build on it,” coach Frank Martin said. “They don’t give parades for
wins in December. We shot it well in practice and shot it even better
today. I felt if we made passes, we’d make some shots. It’s a heck of a
win for our young team.”
Tre’Von Willis led UNLV (7-1) with
17 points. Chace Stanback added 14 points and Bellfield had 13 for the
Rebels, who shot 48 percent from the field.
“Guys were trying to be a little bit
too unselfish,” Willis said. “We were trying to make that extra pass
and then we would fumble it away. We’ve got to gel together.”
The Wildcats led most of the first
half thanks to their 7-of-12 rate from 3-point range. They jumped to a
10-4 lead before the Rebels briefly took their only lead of the half at
Martavious Irving’s 3-pointer with
10:25 left in the first half put Kansas State on top, and except for
one tie, the Wildcats led the rest of the way.
Kansas State built a 42-34 advantage
at halftime on Pullen’s layup at the buzzer, and the lead never dropped
below eight in the second half.
“Things won’t change,” UNLV coach
Lon Kruger said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. How we react is the
important thing. We practice tomorrow, travel up to Southern Utah …
and play Tuesday. It’s another opportunity for us.”
Kruger played at Kansas State from 1971-74. He also served as an assistant coach from 1979-82 and head coach from 1986-90.
It was the first time the two teams
met since the 1987 NCAA tournament, when Kruger’s Wildcats lost to the
Rebels 80-78 in the second round.
The game was technically played on a
neutral court at Orleans Arena, about a mile west of the Strip and a
few miles away from the UNLV campus. The Runnin’ Rebels play home games
at the Thomas & Mack Center, which is being used for the National
Updated December 12, 2009