K-State Slides Past Bellarmine in Home Opener, 83-75

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Powered by 18 points from senior Tylor Perry and a career-best 17 from junior Cam Carter, Kansas State ushered in a new year at Bramlage Coliseum with a hard-fought 83-75 win over a pesky Bellarmine squad in the home season opener on Friday night before 9,947 fans. The Wildcats are now 30-3 in the building in home openers, while they moved to 16-1 under head coach Jerome Tang.
K-State (1-1) led by as many as 19 points in the second half before Bellarmine (0-2) used a late 10-4 rally to close to within single digits with under a minute to play. The Wildcats had a 79-63 lead after a dunk by senior David N’Guessan with 2:11 to play before the Knights scored 7 straight to close the gap to 79-70 with 51.6 seconds.

After Perry knocked down a pair of free throws, they got a 3-pointer from graduate student Bash Wieland, who had team-high 17 points off the bench, to get within 81-73 with 35 seconds left. However, they could get no closer as Perry canned another pair of free throws to extend the game back to double figures. Perry finished a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.

In the early moments of an up-and-down game, K-State got a big boost from true freshman Dai Dai Ames, who scored 11 of his 12 points during a pivotal 13-5 run in the first half. He hit his first career 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 10-4 then showed off his versatility with a step back jumper 32 seconds later to push the lead to 12-7. He finished the run with a pair of 3-pointers to give the Wildcats a 20-9 advantage and force an early Bellarmine timeout with 11:42.

After the Knights got to within 24-17 with just over 8 minutes to play before halftime, Carter sparked the home team with the first 6 points in an 18-6 run to push ahead 42-23. The lead stood at 46-31 at the half, as Carter led all scorers with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

In all, four Wildcats scored in double figures as Ames (12 points) and junior Arthur Kaluma (12 points) collected their first double-digit scoring games in a K-State uniform. The team also got 8 points each from senior Will McNair Jr. and freshman R.J. Jones, while senior David N’Guessan chipped in 6 points to go with his game-high 9 rebounds.

Perry scored his game-high 18 points on 4 3-point field goals and 6 free throws while adding 5 assists and 4 rebounds in just over 32 minutes. Carter added a career-best 4 steals to go with his career-tying 17 points, going 7-of-14 from the field in 34 minutes.

Ames went 4-of-9 from the field with 3 triples in his 12-point performance, while adding a game-tying 6 assists and 3 steals. Kaluma scored his 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting with 7 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Bellarmine connected on 48.4 percent (30-of-62) of its field goals, including 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from 3-point range, and made 7-of-8 free throw attempts. Three players scored in double figures led by Wieland’s 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 27 minutes. He also added a team-high 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Junior Langdon Hatton scored all 14 of his points in the first half, going 6-of-11 from the field, while redshirt sophomore Ben Johnson added 12 points.
K-State will play its second game in a 4-day span on Monday night when the Wildcats play host to Summit League favorite South Dakota State (1-1) at 7 p.m., CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchase online at kstatesports.com/tickets.