Struggling out of the gate in Big 12 play, the Wildcats needed a big win at home against Texas Tech. They got every bit of that with a 94-60 manhandling of the Red Raiders in Curtis Kelly’s return to action.
Kansas State opened the day with a dominant string of events that really set the tone for today’s game. Jake Pullen broke Texas Tech’s zone defense with early treys and the Wildcats cruised into halftime with a 52-26 lead.
K-State finally showed a glimpse of the dominance that was expected of them going into this season. The 20th ranked Wildcats dominated the boards (41-18), moved the ball efficiently (25-14 assist-turnover ratio), and were impressive from the charity stripe (13/16). Nothing could go wrong and the Cats will try to use this experience to turn their season around.
Kelly scored 12 points to go with five rebounds in his return to action. You could see Kelly’s immaturity at times as he drew a technical foul at the end of the first half, but his presence was clearly a boost for his team.
Pullen also showed his talents with 21 points and five assists. The senior guard shot very well from the field and took advantage of wide open looks from downtown with 4 triples.
While the seniors played well, Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder seemed to soar in their first conference win of the year. Samuels scored a team high 22 points while grabbing 9 boards, and McGruder posted a very impressive double-double with 16 points and 15 boards.
John Roberson led the Red Raiders with a 19 point night with 4 three pointers on the day.
Shortly before the game, coach Martin announced the departure of Freddy Asprilla from the program. Asprilla is leaving KSU to play professional basketball in South America and be closer to his family.
Kansas State has an opportunity to build off of their success in the upcoming weeks. They will need as much confidence as they can find as their Big 12 schedule really heats up. The Cats travel to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers on Monday night to begin their toughest four game stretch of the season.
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Written by Shaun Albin