May 27, 2024

Kaluma scores 23, Carter has 21 as Kansas State beats No. 6 Iowa State, 65-58

Kansas State guard Cam Carter dunks the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Basketball Writer
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State coach Jerome Tang lamented his team’s lack of effort in a lopsided loss to Kansas this week, issuing a not-so-veiled challenge to the Wildcats heading into their regular-season finale against sixth-ranked Iowa State.
Not only did they accept it, they proceeded to beat the Cyclones in nearly every statistical category that rewards effort: points off turnovers, second-chance points, fast-break points and offensive rebounds.
The Wildcats ultimately beat them on the scoreboard, too. Arthur Kaluma had 23 points, Cam Carter added 21 and the Wildcats won 65-58 on Saturday, giving their flickering NCAA Tournament hopes some life heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
“I was very clear after the last game, we didn’t give an effort worthy of wearing a K-State uniform,” Tang said, “and they didn’t take offense to it. They embraced that we have higher expectations of ourselves, and they responded.”
David N’Guessan added 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on senior day for the Wildcats (18-13, 8-10 Big 12), who blew most of a 17-point, second-half lead before holding on for their third win over a top-10 team this season.
Kansas State also beat No. 4 Kansas and No. 9 Baylor at home, where it went 15-3 this season.
“There’s an opportunity and a path for us,” Tang said of the NCAA tourney, “and I’m excited for the path.”
Curtis Jones scored 16 points and Keshon Gilbert and Tamin Lipsey 13 apiece for the Cyclones (24-7, 13-5), who couldn’t replicate their rally from 14 down to beat BYU earlier in the week and had their four-game winning streak snapped.
“Credit goes to K-State, their coaches and their players. They did a great job,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “They were more physical. They were the more aggressive team. And they did a better job in some of the areas we take pride in, in terms of rebounding and being physical. Credit to them for doing that today.”
Iowa State looked as if it would make senior day a forgettable day for Kansas State early on, relentlessly harassing one of the nation’s most turnover-prone teams into offensive miscues and mental mistakes.
“Our defense was really solid. We were just turning the ball over,” Kaluma said. “We had to eradicate the turnovers.”
When the Wildcats did, trailing 18-10 with seven minutes left in the half, their fortunes quickly flipped.
Kansas State held Iowa State without a field goal for more than six minutes, going on a 12-1 run to help take a 28-24 lead into the break. Then, the Wildcats scored the first nine points as part of a 15-2 run to begin the second half, stretching their lead to 17 while holding the Cyclones without a field goal until Lipsey’s lay-in with 13:30 to go.
“We get in stretches where we try to force things and take bad shots,” Lipsey said, “and that’s when teams go on runs.”
The Cyclones went on a run of their own, a 10-0 charge to get within 48-43 with 7:18 left. But the Wildcats pushed their lead back to double digits, and forced Iowa State into using full-court pressure in a desperate bid to mount a comeback.
The experience of Kaluma and Carter along with Tylor Perry, playing his final game in Bramlage Coliseum, allowed Kansas State to keep breaking it, and the Wildcats made just enough foul shots in down the stretch to wrap up the win.
“I think we lost focus today,” Otzelberger said. “We were up 18-10 and we settled for a lot of early-clock jump shots. We had costly turnovers that were uncharacteristic of our team. We didn’t have enough focus defensively guarding the dribble. … We didn’t do a good job in those areas, and credit to K-State for making us pay when we didn’t do the job.”
BIG PICTURE
Iowa State squandered a chance to share the regular-season Big 12 title, though it would have needed Kansas to beat Houston later in the day. The Cyclones will still be the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Kansas State avoided having to play on the opening night of the conference tournament, but the Wildcats still probably need at least a couple of wins in Kansas City, Missouri, to help its at-large NCAA Tournament hopes.
UP NEXT
Iowa State will play its quarterfinal Big 12 Tournament game Thursday.
Kansas State will play its second-round Big 12 tourney game Wednesday.