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No. 22 Zags fall to No. 4 KState

by Jim O'Connell
| November 23, 2010 8:00 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas State felt right at home in the Sprint Center and the Wildcats are hoping the purple-clad sellout crowd will be a help in facing top-ranked Duke.

Jacob Pullen scored 18 points and No. 4 Kansas State pulled away in the second half for an 81-64 victory over No. 22 Gonzaga on Monday night in the semifinals of the CBE Classic.

Will Spradling added 13 points for the Wildcats (4-0), who will play No. 1 Duke in the championship game Tuesday night about a 2-hour drive from campus.

"It's a great opportunity even though it's early in the season," Kansas State's Rodney McGruder said. "This is basically a home game for us, we have a lot of our fans here. It will be a great experience."

It will be a winning one if the Wildcats can shoot the 3 the way they did against Gonzaga (2-2) when they made 12 of 26 (46 percent).

"We stayed the course and obviously when you make 3s the way we made them today, it gives you a chance to win," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said.

Kansas State seemed to be in control in the first half against Gonzaga, taking a 49-32 lead on a 3-pointer by Victor Ojeleye with 2:20 to go. The Bulldogs scored the last six points of the half to get within 11 and then opened the second half on 9-4 run to get within 53-47 on two free throws by Robert Sacre with 16:45 to play.

"We relaxed defensively and we get outrun down the floor three straight times and give up layups," Martin said. "The pace was going the way you need and you do that."

Pullen hit a 3 to start an 8-0 run that was part of a 12-3 run that made it 65-50 with 12:22 to go and the Wildcats went on to lead by as many as 20, the last time at 76-56 on a basket by Freddy Asprilla with 5:22 to go.

"We knew it was going to be a tough task and it certainly was," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "Kansas State has got a great team. They are a load to prepare for. It's tough to get the ball into a good offensive position and get good shots against their half-court defense. They were terrific in transition. We never really did solve the transition defensive aspect of it.

"Yet, we had still a couple of chances there in the second half. I think we cut it to four and missed a little bunny and they went down and hit a 3. They can hurt you in a lot of different ways."

Kansas State finished 29 of 57 from the field (50.9 percent).

Sacre led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Steven Gray added 15 on 6-for-15 shooting. Gray, the lone senior on the Gonzaga roster, came in averaging 25.7 points.

Gonzaga was 19 for 57 from the field, including 3 of 13 on 3-pointers (23.1 percent).

GONZAGA (2-2)

Harris 1-7 2-2 4, Monninghoff 1-2 0-0 2, Sacre 3-11 11-13 17, Goodson 1-5 4-6 6, Gray 6-15 2-2 15, Carter 1-2 1-2 4, Arop 1-3 1-2 3, Stockton 2-6 0-0 5, Olynyk 2-2 2-2 6, Keita 0-1 0-0 0, Hart 0-1 0-0 0, Dower 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 19-57 23-29 64.

KANSAS ST. (4-0)

Asprilla 2-3 1-2 5, Judge 3-4 0-0 6, Pullen 6-12 2-4 18, Russell 3-5 0-0 7, McGruder 3-9 2-2 10, Southwell 0-0 0-0 0, Irving 2-4 0-0 5, Myles 0-0 0-2 0, Ojeleye 1-2 0-0 3, Williams 1-1 0-0 3, Henriquez-Roberts 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly 1-4 1-3 3, Samuels 3-6 2-4 8, Spradling 4-6 3-3 13. Totals 29-57 11-20 81.

Halftime_Kansas St. 49-38. 3-Point Goals_Gonzaga 3-13 (Carter 1-1, Stockton 1-4, Gray 1-5, Monninghoff 0-1, Keita 0-1, Harris 0-1), Kansas St. 12-26 (Pullen 4-8, Spradling 2-4, McGruder 2-7, Williams 1-1, Ojeleye 1-1, Russell 1-2, Irving 1-2, Samuels 0-1). Fouled Out_Judge. Rebounds_Gonzaga 29 (Harris, Olynyk, Sacre 4), Kansas St. 41 (McGruder 9). Assists_Gonzaga 9 (Gray 4), Kansas St. 16 (Pullen 4). Total Fouls_Gonzaga 18, Kansas St. 23. A_18,630.

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