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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

A work of Art: Arthur Kaluma scores season-high 28 in needed win over No. 25 BYU

Grace Parks
Forward Arthur Kaluma looks up during his star performance against BYU. In the 84-74 victory, Kaluma led the Wildcats with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

After falling in seven of its past eight, Kansas State men’s basketball secured a major win over No. 25 BYU 84-74. Forward Arthur Kaluma led the way with a season-high 28 points and grabbed a double-double with 10 rebounds. The Wildcats made up some ground to receive an NCAA tournament berth now holding a 16-11 record and 6-8 in Big-12 play.

“I just came out to play today,” Kaluma said. “I felt like I had a different aggression. … The team as a whole executed and it made my job easier.”

K-State came out the gates with an aggressive sense of urgency reflecting the need for wins. Spearheaded by stingy defense and two 3-pointers from guard Tylor Perry, the Wildcats found themselves up 12-2 before the first TV timeout.

BYU quickly climbed back and brought the game within two with a 10-0 run in less than a minute and a half. The two teams threw blows all first half, bringing a strong intensity for all 20 minutes.

“We knew it’d be a game of runs,” head coach Jerome Tang said. “We just happen to have more runs than they did.”

K-State led 42-38 at the half, led by forward Arthur Kaluma’s 16 points and six rebounds.

The Wildcats’ intensity did not drop out of the break. The lead quickly grew to as much as nine with Kaluma scoring another five early points. 

The lead never fell to any shorter than six in the half. K-State grew the lead to as large as 16, thwarting any chance for a Cougar comeback. Kaluma sealed the deal with two highlight-worthy assists in the final minute to put BYU away.

K-State’s offensive performance was among the best from the team all season. The team’s 84 points marked a season-high in conference play. This was done with five players reaching double-digits, led by Kaluma and followed by 16 from Perry. The 56.3% shooting mark was also the team’s season-high in Big 12 play.

“It’s a make-or-miss game,” Tang said.

Tang said the team had a colonel talk to the team recently as they head into the final stretch of the season.

“He talked about, when you’re going on a mission … you got to have purpose, you got to have passion, you got to have relentless violence,” Tang said. “And I thought Arthur had a relentless violence today.”

The final four games of the regular season and then the Big 12 tournament are crucial to the Wildcats’ chances. Next up, K-State swiftly turns around at 6 p.m. Monday to host a nine-win West Virginia team.

“We can continue to improve and I thought we made really good strides,” Tang said. “I thought the staff did a great job this week of identifying just small areas we could improve in. And the team did a great job of buying into it.”

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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