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Kansas State edges past Bears, 76-74

Jan. 27, 2010

Sarah Groman | Lariat Photographer
No. 13 forward Ekpe Udoh gives the Ferrell Center's hyped crowd something else to cheer about by slamming the ball through the hoop during the Bears' loss to the Kansas State Wildcats Tuesday night.

By Justin Baer
Sports editor

Jacob Pullen hit two free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining to help No. 11-ranked Kansas State evade an upset and defeat No. 24-ranked Baylor 76-74 Tuesday night at the Ferrell Center.

Pullen entered the contest shooting 4-for-30 in his last two games. Unfortunately for Baylor, the Wildcats' leading scorer snapped his slump and tossed in 25 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 6-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line, to shoulder K-State's victory.

"He's got a lot of pride," Kansas State head coach Frank Martin said. "He understood whatever was happening wasn't good. He just zoned in."

After scoring 33 points in a winning effort against the Wildcats last season, LaceDarius Dunn had the chance to erase a 3-for-13 night from the floor on the possession following Pullen's free throw, but after he dribbled the ball up court, Dunn's shot flailed off the backboard to snap the Bears' 11-game home winning streak.

"Originally we were going to get the ball to Tweety (Carter)," head coach Scott Drew said about the final play. "But Lace took it because he was 1-on-1. We all know Lace is good 1-on-1, and he just took the shot."

Carter led the Bears scoring effort with 23 points. Meanwhile, Anthony Jones and Quincy Acy had 12 points and 10 points, respectively.

Despite his offensive display, Carter demonstrated the most emotion following the loss.

"It's very frustrating. We have to let this one go," a dejected Carter said. "We have to look over film, and move on to Texas."

The game featured eight lead changes in the first half, but the second half consisted of the Bears clawing their way to stay in the game. K-State didn't have a lead greater than six points in the second half, but Baylor couldn't climb past the hill and take the lead.

"It was hard to get an offensive flow and run our sets like we wanted to," Carter said. "We got some good looks, but we just didn't make shots tonight."

Ekpe Udoh's two free throws gave Baylor its biggest lead of the game at 32-29 with 3:42 left in the first half. However, K-State used Denis Clemente's 3-pointer off a turnover to instigate a 10-6 run to close out the half ahead 39-36.

Clemente went on another scoring splurge to begin the second half, as he scored eight of the Wildcats' first 12 points to give the Wildcats a 53-52 lead.

A.J. Walton gave the Bears their last lead of the game when he made an acrobatic layup on the ensuing possession to give Baylor a 54-53 lead with 10:32 left on the clock.

For the next 10 minutes, the Bears played a game of cat and mouse with K-State but couldn't quite snag the lead.

After Pullen splashed a 3-pointer from the wing, Carter hit a jumper to bring Baylor within two points at 74-72 with 53 seconds remaining.

Dunn swiped the ball from Pullen on the next possession, and the Reserve, La., guard tied the game at 74 after goaltending was called on Kansas State with 19 seconds remaining.

Dunn fouled Pullen on the following possession, and Pullen made both of his shots to propel Kansas State to victory.

Baylor plays the No. 6-ranked University of Texas at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Austin.