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Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Cardiac Cats strike again, escape near-unimaginable meltdown vs. WVU as Perry shines

Wildcats win in overtime despite giving up 25-point lead in second half
Guard+Tylor+Perry+puts+a+ball+up+under+the+rim+as+West+Virginia+looks+on+in+suspense.+In+the+Wildcats+94-90+overtime+victory%2C+Perry+put+up+a+season-high+29+points.
Macey Franko
Guard Tylor Perry puts a ball up under the rim as West Virginia looks on in suspense. In the Wildcats’ 94-90 overtime victory, Perry put up a season-high 29 points.

Bramlage Coliseum nearly witnessed a collapse of epic proportions. Kansas State men’s basketball scratched away another overtime victory against West Virginia 94-90 despite blowing a 25-point lead. 

“I told the guys in the locker room, when they go back to their apartment, they need to get on their knees and thank the good Lord,” Tang said on the victory. “Because he’s the one who did this, it wasn’t us. … For some reason he shined favor on us in overtime.”

West Virginia held a four-point lead with a minute left in regulation, but the Wildcats sent in to overtime to win their 12th overtime battle with Jerome Tang as head coach.

“We just treat it all as one overtime just like it’s one game,” Tang said on the overtime success. “We did shark week so that we can play as many extra five minutes as are put up on the clock.”

Tang said that West Virginia’s shooting percentage was the main factor in the comeback but said the coaching staff will have to look at ways to resolve it.

K-State vs. West Virginia saw some of the best and worst from the Wildcats. K-State went on a 37-14 run in the first half, finishing with 11 first half 3-pointers. Along with that, K-State finished the night with a season-high of 15 3-pointers.

Adding to the accolades, guard Tylor Perry finished with a season-high 29 points while tying his season-high for 3-pointers at six.

“We’re asking a lot of him and he’s delivering,” Tang said. “He’s playing, he’s studying, he’s practicing, he’s preparing like a kid who wants to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his career.”

Meanwhile, a lot went wrong for K-State to nearly blow a 25-point lead.

K-State opened the second half up 48-26. A quick Mountaineer run moved the score within 17, but the Wildcats kept the lead around 20 points for the first portion of the second half.

Then came West Virginia.

The Mountaineers were led by fiery shooting from guard RaeQuan Battle and pesky play from guard Kerr Kriisa to fuel the comeback. Battle finished the night with 28 points, as each him and Krissa dropped 18 second half points. Battle, used to torching K-State, hit six consecutive 3-pointers in the second half and overtime.

The 31-9 run from 10:32-0:52 gave the Mountaineers a 79-75 lead. A layup from center Will McNair Jr. off an airball from forward Arthur Kaluma set up Perry’s game-tying free throws to send the game to overtime.

“[It] just come from work and the good Lord,” Perry said on his late game free throws. “I can’t take all the credit… and just wanting to be in those situations. I think the more you want the ball in those situations the more confidence it gives you.”

Overtime came, and once again, Tang’s perfect record in free basketball was at risk. And again, the Wildcats delivered.

Perry led the way with nine points in the period as the defense suffocated the Mountaineer offense to a 2-10 shooting performance. Battle received one last chance to tie the game with a deep 3-pointer, but missed his first 3-pointer since the first half.

The chaotic victory keeps K-State’s chances of dancing in March alive. Coming up next for the ‘Cardiac Cats’ is a road trip to face a fellow bubble team in Cincinnati at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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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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