April 15, 2024

Arthur Kaluma scores a career-high 28, lifting Kansas State past No. 25 BYU 84-74

Kansas State forward Arthur Kaluma (24) drives toward the basket as BYU guard Dallin Hall (30) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

By DAVID SMALE Associated Press
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Arthur Kaluma had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds as Kansas State beat No. 25 BYU 84-74 on Saturday.
Kaluma was one of five players to score in double-figure for Kansas State (16-11, 6-8 Big 12), which had lost seven of its last eight games. Tylor Perry scored 16 points, David N’Guessan and Cam Carter each had 12, and Will McNair 11.
“I thought we made really good strides,” Kansas State coach Jerome Tang said. “I thought the staff did a great job this week of identifying small areas that we can improve in. And the team did a great job of buying into it. It’s a huge win against a Top-25 team on your home court. Now we’ve got to put it in a box and move on to the next one.”
Kaluma surpassed his previous career best of 27 points, set two seasons ago when he played for Creighton.
“I just came out to play today,” Kaluma said. “I felt like I had a different aggression. My coach said it’s the little tweaks that we made in practice and the stuff that we had to lock in on that would give us a better chance of winning. I feel like the team as a whole executed and made my job easier.
“(The key was) getting to the basket. I was able to shoot 12 free throws. I feel like if I’m able to be aggressive and get downhill, it’s either going to be a bucket or foul.”
Jaxson Robinson scored 15 points to lead BYU (19-8, 7-7), which has gone 3-3 in its last six games. Noah Waterman and Spencer Johnson each scored 12 points, and Foussey Traore added 10.
The Wildcats started the second half with a run to retake a double-digit lead. They built a 61-47 advantage with 12:47 left in the game and extended their lead to as many as 16 points before BYU tried to rally late.
BYU shot just 40.8% (29 for 71) from the field, including 20% (6 for 30) from 3-point range. The Cougars kept the game close by crashing the boards, outrebounding Kansas State 19-6 on the offensive end.
“It’s a major point of emphasis for us all year long,” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “It helps us when we don’t shoot the ball well. We offensive rebound really well. But that’s the double-edged sword for us.”
Kansas State scored the first eight points of the game and led 12-2 with 16:44 left in the first half. Kansas State extended its lead to 16-4 before BYU used a 10-0 run to close the gap.
“We knew it was gonna be a game of runs,” Tang said. “We just happened to have more runs.”
The Cougars managed to tie the game at 28 with 6:35 left in the half, but never took a lead. The Wildcats led 42-38 at the break, helped by Kaluma’s 16 points and six rebounds. Perry added 10 points.
THE TAKEAWAY:
BYU: Like a lot of teams in the Big 12, BYU struggles on the road. The Cougars fell to 2-6 in conference road games.
Kansas State: Even with the win , the Wildcats need a late-season run to earn a return to the NCAA Tournament.
UP NEXT:
BYU: At No. 9 Kansas on Tuesday.
Kansas State: Host West Virginia on Monday.