No. 3 Kansas St. 76, Presbyterian 67
Kansas State coach Frank Martin let his players know there are consequences for poor efforts on the court.
Jacob Pullen scored 15 points, and No. 3 Kansas State struggled for a 76-67 victory over overmatched Presbyterian on Thursday night.
''I told the guys after the game I hope they have a good social life,'' Martin said. ''Because I'm getting ready to ruin it.''
What was supposed to be an easy game before playing No. 11 Gonzaga on Monday and then either No. 1 Duke or Marquette on Tuesday, turned out to be a tough test for Kansas State.
Up 14 at the half, Kansas State (3-0) couldn't shake Presbyterian, which lost its opener by 41 points to Vanderbilt.
''Today, you saw the ugly head of youth and lack of leadership,'' Martin said. ''Presbyterian deserved to win. They played their hearts out. We didn't.''
The Blue Hose (0-2) opened the half with 13-7 run, six of the points coming from Josh Johnson, and then kept chipping away. Jake Troyli and Khalid Mutakbbir hit 3-point shots to cut the Wildcats' lead to 63-60 with 9:35 to play.
''We were just going through the motions,'' Pullen said.
It was 69-65 with 2:30 remaining before K-State's Jamar Samuels tipped in Martavious Irving's miss. When the Wildcats' Rodney Magruder sank a baseline 3-poointer with 51 seconds remaining to make it 74-65, the home crowd could finally relax.
''It was definitely awesome,'' Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert said. ''I told our guys, even after Vanderbilt, we are a defensive, tough-minded team. We put them in the zone, and I tell you, we can be tough in the zone. ... I think we matched their tough-mindedness, and that helped give us a chance.''
Presbyterian was led by Al'Lonzo Coleman, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Magruder finished with 13 points while teammates Jamar Samuels, Irving and Wally Judge each had 10.
The Blue Hose stayed close despite committing 14 more turnovers by shooting 50 percent from the floor and making 9 of 15 3-point attempts.
Presbyterian used solid perimeter shooting to stay in the game for the first 12 minutes. Johnson and Mutakabbir hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 6-5 Blue Hose lead. Even after K-State scored seven straight for a 23-13 lead, Presbyterian's Pierre Miller drove the baseline for a basket and then sank his second 3-pointer, cutting the Wildcats' lead to 23-18 with 7:59 remaining in the half.
Martin called a timeout and the Wildcats responded with a 13-4 run that featured four interior baskets. Magruder capped the run with a post move, part of his eight points late in the half to help push K-State to a 44-30 advantage at the break.