MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Tylor Perry’s step back 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in overtime proved to be difference in a back and forth affair, as Kansas State remained perfect in overtime under head coach Jerome Tang with a 72-71 victory over Villanova in the fourth annual Big 12/BIG EAST Battle before 10,140 fans on Tuesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
It marked the second straight game that Perry has come through in the clutch after helping the Wildcats force overtime in an eventual win over North Alabama on Saturday with a similar step back triple with 8 seconds left in regulation. Perry has now made seven shots to either win a game or send a game into overtime in his Division I career dating back to his days at North Texas.
K-State (7-2), playing in its third consecutive overtime game for the first time in nearly 60 years, equaled the feat of the Wildcats’ last Final Four team in 1964 by winning its third straight game in overtime, following victories over Oral Roberts and North Alabama. The 1964 team won road games at Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri, all in overtime, from February 3-15. The team remains a perfect 9-0 in overtime games under head coach Jerome Tang, including 4-0 this season.
The dramatic win over Villanova (6-4) gave K-State its first win in four tries in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle after falling at home to Marquette in 2019 and 2021 and at Butler last season. The Wildcats are now 2-0 against BIG EAST members this season after defeating Providence in overtime earlier this year.
Three Wildcats scored in double figures, as Perry’s theatrics overshadowed the impressive night of junior Arthur Kaluma who nearly eclipsed his career-high with a game- and season-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in more than 44 minutes. Junior Cam Carter added 16 points on 7-of-12 field goals to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists, while Perry had 10 points and a game-high 6 assists.
K-State, which led by 8 points at the half and by as many as 10 points in the second half, had to fight off a challenge from Villanova, which scored the last 6 points of regulation to tie the game at 63-all and force overtime at 63-all. The visitor continued that momentum in overtime, scoring the first 3 points before leading 71-67 after a 3-pointer by redshirt senior Eric Dixon with 90 seconds to play.
From there, Perry’s magic in end-game situation came alive, as he saved a loose ball in the backcourt then got it Kaluma who then pushed it to senior David N’Guessan for a layup with 48 seconds left. After a missed jumper by junior Jordan Longino with 25 seconds, N’Guessan grabbed the rebound to give K-State one last chance, as head coach Jerome Tang called his last timeout with 16 seconds.
With his first and second options defended, Perry shook off his defender with his step back move, canning the 3-pointer to give K-State a 72-71 lead with 3.9 seconds left. Villanova attempted a final shot, but it was not in time before the buzzer sounded.
K-State connected on nearly 50 percent (49.2/29-of-59) from the field, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from 3-point range, and made all 6 of its free throw attempts. The Wildcats scored 38 points in the paint, as the squad shot 56.8 percent (21-of-37) inside the 3-point line.
Villanova (6-4) lost for the third consecutive game after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Wildcats hit on just 34.8 percent (23-of-66) from the field but made 11 3-pointers from 6 different players. Five players registered double figures, including a team-high 16 points by Longino.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The teams went back and forth in the early going with K-State taking a slight 8-7 lead into the first media timeout. Villanova then grabbed the early momentum with 3 consecutive 3-pointers to take a 16-10 advantage with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half. The Wildcats fought back behind a 10-3 run to re-take the lead at 20-19 capped by a 3-pointer from junior Arthur Kaluma.
Villanova briefly re-took the lead on a jumper by graduate Hakim Hart, but K-State responded with 10 straight points to take a 30-21 advantage, which was again capped by a Kaluma 3. VU closed the gap to 30-25 with 4 free throws but Kaluma ended his impressive first half by converting on a 3-point play with 0.4 seconds left. The transfer led all scorers with 17 points to go with a game-high 8 rebounds.
K-State connected on 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from the field, including 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from 3-point range, while Villanova was held to just 23.5 percent (8-of-34).
Senior Tylor Perry opened the second half with a tear-drop jumper that gave K-State its first double-digit lead at 35-25. Twice, the home team took a 9-point advantage, but Villanova got hot from 3-point range, including back-to-back 3-pointers, to cut the deficit to 42-41 with 13:46 remaining.
After the visitors tied at 45-all on a steal and layup, K-State responded with 8 straight points to take a 53-45 advantage with 10:46 to play. However, Villanova slowly chipped away at the deficit, closing to within 58-57 on a 3-pointer then finally tying the game at 63 with 50 seconds remaining.
In the overtime period, Villanova grabbed the momentum by scoring the first 3 points from the free throw line to take 66-63 lead. Freshman Dai Dai Ames answered with a pair of free throws before two more free throws from the visitors and a jumper by Perry closed the gap to 68-67 with 1:36 to play.
Senior Eric Dixon came through with a 3-pointer out of a timeout to extend the lead to 71-67 with 1:20 remaining before Perry came through with two big plays at the end. He was able to save a loose ball in the back court and get it to Kaluma then to senior David N’Guessan for a layup that sliced the lead to 71-69 with 48 seconds left. After a missed shot by Villanova, N’Guessan grabbed the rebound and got it to Perry who called the Wildcats’ final timeout.
Out of the timeout with the first and second options taken away, Perry was able to shake off his defender and get enough space the step back 3-pointer to clinch the game at 72-71.
HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“First of all, I just want to thank our fans. You know, people can be offended sometimes when you challenge them, and I challenged our students, and I challenged our season ticket holders to make sure that they give their tickets away and I love every one of them. But I mean, part of loving is expecting some things and our students responded, man I could not believe, and our fans were incredible. So that atmosphere, that was a big-time game, and a big-time atmosphere and all of the world got to see that on ESPN2. It’s going to help us in recruiting, it’s going to help us with everything moving forward. But now they’ve told on themselves, right? They can be at the games, and they can be loud and just like our guys have told on themselves that they can guard and rebound a little bit. I’m just very thankful for the win and very proud of our guys, just really gritty and tough. They’re very poised in tough situations. So, that’s a credit to them and their hard work.”
On the play that led to Tylor Perry’s shot…
“There were a couple of options on that. You know we’d gotten the lob to Cam [Carter] off of the up screen in the first half. We got the lob in the first half and then we should have completed the lob, the pass was a little off, and we knew that it’d set up a flare for Cam, and if the flare wasn’t there, then it was going to turn into a ball screen to TP [Perry]. So, the guy did a really good job, I think it was [Jordan] Longino that was guarding Cam, he did a good job of fighting over the top of the flare. So, then they set the screen and then flipped the screen and their rule is on a flip ball screen they automatically switch so now they got TP on their five man. Then he was able to drive his feet inside the three-point line. So, then he was able to get the step back for the shot. Once he stepped back, I knew it was going in.”
On Arthur Kaluma’s performance…
“In the first half yeah, I thought he [Kaluma] was super special in the first half. Then he was good in the second half, and they made an adjustment right, they paid more attention to him and then Cam [Carter] stepped up in the second half. When you have multiple weapons that’s where like one guy gets going and I thought our guys kept getting Arthur shots right and then they said okay, let’s take Art away, and when they take Art away it’s going to leave somebody else open, and Cam got going. We got to get Cam going down the hill for some and then you know TP was TP. I felt like going into the year we had more weapons that were ready to step up and we’re starting to see some of that, and I think we can keep improving in that area.”
On trusting Tylor Perry in those crucial moments…
“We just trust our work and we don’t trust the results. Results are going to change but if we put in the work and he [Perry] and Cam [Carter] put in the work, Arthur [Kaluma] puts in the work. So, you trust him in those moments and the team trusts him. They see the work he puts in; they see what he does every day at practice. We’ve been saying we’ve been taking applications (for leadership) and my man [Tylor Perry] has submitted an application and now he’s putting in the work to earn the right to lead the team and to coach the team and to talk in huddles because he’s becoming an everyday guy.”
- K-State (7-2) moved to 6-0 at home with a 72-71 overtime win over Villanova.
- K-State earned its first win in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle in 4 tries (1-3)… The Wildcats are now 2-0 against BIG EAST foes this season after beating Providence in overtime on Nov. 17.
- K-State played 3 consecutive overtime games for the first time since Feb. 3-15, 1964… The Wildcats also won those 3 games against Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, all on the road.
- K-State moves to 9-0 in overtime games under Jerome Tang, including 4-0 in 2023-24… He
is the first head coach in school history to win his first nine overtime games… Only Tex Winter (15) and Jack Hartman (14) have won overtime games than Tang.
- K-State is now 9-3 under Tang in games decided by 5 or less points, including 3-0 this season.
- K-State has won 15 straight at home at non-conference play since 2021-22.
- K-State is now 178-55 in non-conference play since 2006-07.
- K-State is now 125-12 at home in non-conference play since 2006-07.
- K-State scored its 72 points on 49.2 percent (29-of-59) shooting, including 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from 3-point range, and a went perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
- K-State held advantages in points in the paint (38-22) and fast-break points (16-8).
- K-State started a lineup of senior Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma and senior David N’Guessan and senior Will McNair Jr. … It marked the fifth time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 45 games in his K-State career… Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started all 9 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their seventh starts, respectively.
- Three Wildcats scored in double figures led by junior Arthur Kaluma, who led all scorers with 26 points to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in 44 minutes… Junior Cam Carter and senior Tylor Perry added 16 and 10 points, respectively… In all, six different players scored points.
- Perry hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds… It marked the seventh time in his Division I career that Perry has made a shot to either win or send the game into overtime.
- Kaluma had his best night in a Wildcat uniform, scoring a game and season-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 3-of-3 from the free throw line, to with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in 44 minutes… The 26 points was one shy of his career-high of 27 he had against BYU while playing at Creighton in 2022… It was his seventh career 20-point game, including third this season, while he scored in double figures for the 47th time.
- Carter scored 16 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in more than 42 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 17 career games, including 7 times in 2023-24.
- Perry added his 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-10 from 3-point range, to go with game-high 6 assists in nearly 41 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 65 career games, including 8 at K-State… His 6 assists matched a season-high for the sixth time.
- Freshman Dai Dai Ames added 7 points in 19 minutes off the bench.
K-State plays its first true road game of the season on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats travel to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU (5-3) at 12:30 p.m., CT at the Pete Maravich Center. The game will air nationally on the SEC Network.