Pullen scores 19 points and Kansas State beats Iowa State
AMES, Iowa (AP)—Jacob Pullen scored 19 points, one shy of his career high, and Kansas State snapped a five-game road losing streak by holding off Iowa State, 73-69 on Saturday.
Freshman star Michael Beasley battled through foul trouble and scored 15 points—his lowest output in conference play—for the Wildcats (20-10, 10-6 Big 12), who will be the No. 3 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament.
After trailing by as much as 14 midway through the second half, Iowa State got the ball with the shot clock off, down 71-68. Diante Garrett missed a jumper and Bill Walker grabbed the rebound, but he missed the front-end of a one-and-one. Kansas State fouled Garrett with 2.5 seconds left, choosing to send him to the line rather than risk a game-tying 3. That forced Garrett, who made the first one, to miss his second and hope for a lucky bounce.
It didn’t work, as Beasley grabbed the rebound and hit both free throws to seal the win. The victory gave Kansas State 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1986-87 and 1987-88.
Craig Brackins scored a game-high 24 points to lead Iowa State (14-17, 4-12), who finished the regular season by losing 11 of its last 13 games.
Beasley picked up his third foul with 14:39 left and went to the bench. Iowa State took advantage, cutting Kansas State’s lead to 54-48 on a 3 by Wesley Johnson. By the time Beasley re-entered the game, the Wildcats had taken their largest lead, 62-48, on a jumper by Dominique Sutton.
But Beasley picked up his fourth foul with 8:19 to go and went back to the pine. The Cyclones cut Kansas State’s lead to 63-58 on a 3-point play from Brackins that got the crowd back in the game, and coach Frank Martin sent Beasley back on the floor with 5:25 left.
Beasley struggled early, missing five of his first six shots. He warmed up midway through the first half, following up a 3-point play with two quick jumpers to put the Wildcats ahead 33-26. Pullen drilled two 3s late in the first half to push Kansas State’s lead to 42-33 by halftime.
The Wildcats went 8-of-26 from 3-point range after attempting just 15 3s in a win over Colorado on Tuesday.
Beasley, who had nine rebounds, torched Iowa State for 33 points and 15 rebounds in their first meeting, an 82-57 Kansas State win back on Jan. 26. But foul trouble limited him to just 12 minutes in the second half and his 10-game double-double streak came to an end.