By. Luke Lazarczyk
K-State comes back to defeat Oklahoma State 70-66.
Again and again, Kansas State men’s basketball fall into chaotic battles and again and again they prevailed. The Wildcats constantly found themselves down to Oklahoma State, but a late surge and another late alley-oop basket pushed them to the 70-66 win in another Bramlage Coliseum classic.
While guard Tylor Perry connected with guard Cam Carter on the alley-oop, forward Arthur Kaluma was the star of the night. With a statsheet of 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks, the Creighton transfer kept the Wildcats in the game while falling behind.
“I felt like it came naturally,” Kaluma said. “I’m trying to focus on letting the game come to me.”
A major reason for K-State’s struggles came from a failure to protect the ball. The Wildcats suffered from 12 first half turnovers.
While Kaluma shined with the team’s final 11 points of the first half, he contributed five turnovers to the 12 which he was not aware of while playing. His five first half turnovers matched the total for the team in the second half.
“The crazy thing is, I didn’t know I had five until I was running back on defense and coach Tang was like, ‘You got five turnovers,’” Kaluma said. “I was like, ‘Five? No way I have five.’ Because the way I was playing I was barely doing anything with the rock. … ‘Man I gotta lock in,’ so that's what I tried to do.”
Falling down in the first half was not just because of turnovers. Perry and Carter scored a combined three points in the half. The duo raised that to 21 in the second half, including Carter’s alley-oop to go up 68-66.
“It’s a play we practice, we go over every now and then and I realized I had a small defender and I looked at coach and the first thing I thought of was, the play was called nose and I taped my nose and he agreed with it,” Carter said. “So that’s what we ran.”
The Wildcats continue to find wins in any form, moving to a 4-1 conference record, currently tied for first place with Texas Tech. Next up for K-State is No. 24 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“I like the fact that we embrace winning,” head coach Jerome Tang said after being asked about ugly wins. “I’ve never really seen an ugly win. I’ve seen a lot of ugly losses.”