K-State crushes No. 18 UNLV at Orleans Arena, 95-80

Pullen’s 28 points, seven 3-pointers pace Wildcats to lopsided win

Updated Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 | 6:11 p.m.

Kansas State vs #18 UNLV

The Wildcats' sharp shooting, along with the Rebels' sloppy play led to UNLV suffering its first loss of the season, 95-80, to Kansas State Saturday at the Orleans Arena.

UNLV vs. Kansas State Basketball

UNLV head coach Lon Kruger gets after his bench during the game Saturday as the Rebels take on Kansas St. at the Orleans Arena.  UNLV dropped their first game of the season 95-80
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Battling Big Men

By competing against each other during practice and cheering for each other during games, Darris Santee, Brice Massamba and Matt Shaw have pushed themselves to a combined average 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

The Rebel Room

Previewing UNLV vs. K-State with Austin Meek from the Topeka Capital-Journal

Ryan Greene is joined by Austin Meek, who covers Kansas State for the Topeka Capital-Journal, to preview Saturday's matchup between No. 18 UNLV (7-0) and Kansas State (8-1). The contest tips at 4 p.m. at the Orleans Arena.

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Want to share your UNLV hoops comments with Ryan Greene? Want to banter? Want to just vent? Add the #unlvmbb tag to all of your roundball-related tweets, and they'll appear at the bottom of our live game blogs, allowing you to share your thoughts with the world and interact with other UNLV fans. Or you can reach Ryan at @ryanmgreene on Twitter.

Final, K-State wins 95-80

Kansas State came into Saturday's game with No. 18 UNLV shooting 33.5 percent for the season from 3-point range and just 62.6 percent from the free throw line.

Both of those averages will see a huge spike in the immediate future.

The Wildcats were a blistering 14-of-23 from 3-point land, including a 7-of-10 showing from junior guard Jacob Pullen, whose 28 points paced K-State to a 95-80 victory over UNLV on Saturday at the Orleans Arena.

The victory improved KSU to 9-1 on the season, more than likely vaulting Frank Martin's club into the top 25 polls for the first time this year. UNLV is now 7-1, and is at risk of falling out of the polls come Monday morning.

The Cats were also 25-of-32 from the free throw line, and Pullen's showing was complemented by 18 points from senior guard Denis Clemente and 13 points from forward Curtis Kelly, who chose KSU over UNLV in the summer of 2008 when transferring from UConn. Forward Jamar Samuels added 14 off the bench for K-State.

Tre'Von Willis led four Rebels in double figures with 17 points. Oscar Bellfield scored 13, while Chace Stanback's 14 points put him in double figures for the first time as a Rebel. He came off the bench for the first time, as freshman Anthony Marshall scored 11 points in his first career start. Starting guard Derrick Jasper was held scoreless for the first time in his UNLV career.

The Rebels return to action on Tuesday night, when they'll travel to face Southern Utah before playing two games at the Thomas & Mack Center later this week — Thursday against Weber State and Saturday against South Carolina Upstate.

For full postgame coverage, including stories, video, photos, stats and The Rebel Room: Postgame Edition, stay tuned to

3:49, second half, K-State leads 88-68

Jake Pullen is just having fun now.

The K-State junior guard is having a career day, and after hitting his seventh 3-pointer of the game, turned and smiled to the ref. He leads all scorers with 28 points as the Wildcats have officially taken UNLV completely out of the game, up 88-68 with four minutes to play.

K-State is shooting 69.6 percent from the floor in the second half, including a 7-of-11 showing from long range.

It's been an odd day across the board for UNLV. The Rebels are on the verge of allowing 100 points for the first time in the Lon Kruger era, and junior guard Derrick Jasper has been held scoreless.

The question now for most UNLV fans will be just how far do the Rebels fall in the rankings? Will they still be included at all?

11:38, second half, K-State leads 72-53

Not sure if the 'angriest fan base in America' can be too angry right now, as K-State is rolling over UNLV in every way possible.

The 3-point festival for Jake Pullen and Denis Clemente continues to go on for the Wildcats, while Curtis Kelly is cleaning up inside.

Pullen is 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from deep, leading all scorers with 19 points, while Kelly now had 13, including a 7-of-7 showing at the line.

Kelly, who chose K-State over UNLV after transferring from UConn, scored an and-one bucket moments ago, and after doing so, stared at the Rebels' student section, yelled and thumped his chest.

The swagger is oozing from the visitors, and UNLV might need a miracle to pull this one out, down by 19 with 11:38 to play.

15:23, second half, K-State leads 54-45

The good sign for UNLV is that scoring hasn't been an issue early in the second half.

The bad sign is that K-State continues to simply not miss from the floor. Off of its lone miss so far this half, the Wildcats managed to run down their fourth offensive rebound of the night.

Junior guard Jacob Pullen is 3-of-3 from the floor in the second half, making him 6-of-9 overall with 16 points. Dominique Sutton added his first five points of the game.

UNLV's last strike was an and-one bucket from Darris Santee, whose accompanying free throw cut UNLV's deficit back into single digits.

Halftime, K-State leads 34-28

UNLV's trailed at the half in its last two games, but not like this.

Kansas State holds all of the momentum at halftime, up 42-34, as the Rebels haven't been able to take control through 20 minutes.

At the end of the first half, it looked as if the Rebels caught a break, when a turnover at midcourt led to a fast break opportunity. However, a pass to Darris Santee underneath escaped his hands. Jacob Pullen took it the other way for a layup at the buzzer, reminiscent of the 3-point play Santa Clara took with it into the halftime locker room last Saturday against UNLV.

K-State is playing with offensive efficiency that it really hasn't shown too often so far in its 8-1 start to the season.

Lets go inside the halftime numbers for a look ...

— K-State entered the game shooting 33.5 percent from 3-point range and 62.6 percent at the free throw line. So far? They're 7-of-12 and 11-of-13, respectively.

— Jamar Samuels came off the bench to score 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting and a 6-of-7 showing at the line in 15 minutes of run. Pullen has added nine for the Wildcats.

— This game has second half outburst potential for Tre'Von Willis. Sound familiar? He only played 10 first half minutes with two fouls to his credit. He didn't struggle, though. He's 2-of-2 from the floor — both from 3-point land — with six points.

— UNLV outrebounded KSU 16-15, which is a positive sign, but the boards the Rebels missed hurt them. One that comes to mind is a carom Samuels grabbed while on the ground. He fed Curtis Kelly for an easy bucket in exchange.

— Anthony Marshall leads UNLV with nine points after earning his first career start. He's only 2-of-8 from the floor, but 5-of-6 from the stripe.

— UNLV hasn't taken phenomenal care of the ball, and creating for one another on offense hasn't come easy. The Rebels have six assists and eight turnovers.

3:57, first half, K-State leads 30-28

Kansas State came out to Las Vegas shooting 62.6 percent as a team from the free throw line, but is 9-of-10 so far tonight, paced by four in a row from sophomore forward Jamar Samuels.

Samuels has nine of K-State's last 11 points, as the Rebels are keeping pace by slugging it out with the physical Wildcats.

UNLV hasn't hit a field goal in almost four minutes, but Anthony Marshall hit 3-of-4 from the line, followed by Matt Shaw draining a pair to keep the Rebels within two points at 30-28. Both teams are in the double-bonus the rest of the way.

7:15, first half, K-State leads 26-23

Kansas State can't seem to miss from deep, as Martavious Irving and Jamar Samuels hit back-to-back threes. Those shots have paced the Wildcats to a 26-23 edge on the Rebels with 7:15 to play in the first half.

Samuels had a brilliant stretch, capped by the deep ball. It started with a block from behind in the open floor of an Anthony Marshall layup attempt. As a team, K-State is 5-of-7 from long range so far.

Then again, don't forget, UNLV's made it a habit of being a second half team of late. The Rebels have trailed at the break in each of their last two outings.

11:24, first half, game tied 16-16

Kendall Wallace first came up big off the bench with a step-back 17-foot jumper, and a corner three off a feed from Anthony Marshall sent today's game into its second full break tied, 16-16.

Since missing their first four 3-pointers of the game, the Rebels have hit two of their last three in a game that has been hotly contested in the paint. K-State is trying to bang away down low, but can't get the foul calls they crave.

UNLV to this point has three blocks, and is outrebounding K-State 11-9 — an area which has been troublesome of late for Lon Kruger's team. They've answered the bell so far today.

15:51, first half, K-State leads 10-4

So far, K-State is dictating things, safe to say. The Rebels have tried to penetrate with a four-guard lineup early on, but the Wildcats are closing in on them and forcing UNLV into hoisting an abundance of 3-pointers.

The Rebels are 0-for-4 from deep so far, with Derrick Jasper missing two, while Jake Pullen and Denis Clemente have combined to go 3-of-4 from long range to start things off, and the Wildcats lead 10-4.

Lon Kruger scrapped the four-guard set just a few minutes in, and Darris Santee came in along with Chace Stanback in place of Anthony Marshall and Brice Massamba, who looked a bit uneasy early.

Pregame, Part Deux

Anthony Marshall gets the surprise start today in place of Chace Stanback. Kruger truly going is going speed vs. size.

Also, don't forget, Cory Joseph's official UNLV visit is currently ongoing. The No. 7 prospect in the 2010 class according to is in the stands, and one student section sign stands out so far. With a picture of the Strip in the background, it reads "Cory, want a key to the city? Sign with UNLV." Fans pay attention to recruiting, I guess ...


Hello everyone, and welcome to the Orleans Arena, where the doors have just opened and, so far, there's as much purple as there is scarlet in the stands. The atmosphere in here today should be wild.

I got a taste of what the K-State folks will bring about an hour ago. Meeting with some friends who made the trip out from Kansas over across the street at McMullen's to shoot the breeze, they pointed out that they come into the Orleans as the angriest fan base in America. Why? Well, they wouldn't really say, but I'm sure some of it comes from playing the disrespect card.

The fact that K-State isn't ranked right now, at 8-1, is a bit of a head-scratcher. But, then again, the same can be said for New Mexico.

But, like the undefeated Lobos, who play at No. 19 Texas A&M today in Houston, the Wildcats can potentially vault themselves onto the national radar with a victory today.

For UNLV, a win today means that Lon Kruger's 7-0 club has a good shot at making it all the way through non-conference play unscathed.

And this one, folks, is a complete toss-up.

A popular topic of discussion so far today among the media in the building has been the two-point line on the game. UNLV checks in as a late favorite, and it's up for debate. Either way, I honestly don't expect either team to lead in this game by more than five or six points at any juncture.

My three key points today

1) If Jake Pullen and Denis Clemente are both on offensively for K-State, UNLV is in some trouble. Now's when the Rebels prove how solid of a defensive team they are this season. But, if UNLV can get even just one of them off kilter a bit, it takes away a lot of stability from the Wildcats on the offensive end.

2) This could be a big opportunity for UNLV sophomore forward Chace Stanback to gain some more confidence here early in the season. His 6.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg averages are respectable, but he could truly be an x-factor for the Rebels today. He'll more than likely see 6-foot-7 sophomore Jamar Samuels or 6-foot-6 junior Dominique Sutton matched up on him. Stanback is only 1-of-14 from 3-point range this season. If there's a perfect time for him to break out and get on a roll, this is it.

3) An x-factor for K-State, in my mind, is junior forward Curtis Kelly. The guy is 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds of trouble inside. He's averaging roughly 12 points and 8 boards a game this season, so he's no sleeper, but UNLV might have it out for him a bit. There was much talk of his recruitment two summers ago when he transferred from UConn. It came down to UNLV and K-State, and I'm sure the Rebels haven't forgotten being spurned. However, it opened the door to take in Derrick Jasper from Kentucky. So, win-win, I guess. Still, keep an eye on No. 24 in purple.

Prediction and 'Pick to Click'

Prediction — I'm going UNLV 65-61. If you can get to a sportsbook in the next 30 min, the under 142 is pretty enticing. Just saying.

Pick to Click — Derrick Jasper. Not sure why. Just feels right today.

Talk to you shortly.

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  1. Lets hope its the Willis / Bellfield show in the 2nd half. Be nice if K-State goes cold going the other way. Lets go rebels!!!

  2. based on this game so far i would say we don't belong in the top 25

  3. Down by 22, this game is over. There is no way UNLV will come back in this one, they're getting treated like a bunch of ho's.

  4. Before today we were 332nd in div 1 in 3pt%, and so far we've actually managed to LOWER that percentage.....

  5. Good game 'rebs and best wishes with the rest of your season. EMAW

  6. As the rebs fall back down to earth KSU deserves UNLV's ranking and the rebs dont deserve .......

  7. You guys have some good players and lockdown defense. In my opinion KSU played their best offensive game of the season thus far. We will not see that kind of shooting out of our guards too often so that was just luck. Good game and best wishes to a good team and classy fans.

  8. K-State averages 33% from 3 this year and today, with the deal they made with the devil, they shot 61%. They will NEVER, I repeat NEVER shoot that well again in the next 50 years and maybe even ever. I tip my hat for being hot today but k-state didn't dominate in any category except the 3. DEAL WITH THE DEVIL, WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

  9. K-State shooting like The Oregon Tajuan Porter's

    + UNLV handling the ball like they don't care about winning

    = Mega Embarrassment

    And I definitely didn't like Marshall starting in place of Stanback tonight. He had some good flashes tonight.

  10. Sick game. Blowout the whole way the second half. Reminded me of last years team.

  11. The last time I seen a team shoot that good was when Villanova beat Georgetown in the National championship in 1985.

    Except for the unforced turnovers we didn't play too bad offensively scoring 80 points. Stanback looked the most comfortable i've seen him all year. Wallace was pretty disappointing after making his first couple of shots. He's just too much of a liability if he's not making a high percentage of shots.

  12. I was disappointed with the fans tonight. It was a close game most of first half and it was way too quiet. We will come back from this and learn something positive. In Lon we trust!!!

  13. UNLV may only be the fourth or fifth best team in the MWC. The Louisville win is meaningless now that the Cardinal lost at home to Western Carolina. The Arizona win is meaningless now that they got blown out at SDSU. UNM just got a legit Top 20 win over A&M in Texas. the key to MWC play will be winning on the road and UNLv starts out with brutal conference schedule at BYU, at UNM, home against SDSU, home against Utah. Let's hope Kruger and the Rebs can figure things out.

  14. After watching New Mexico and San Diego St play today, plus watching BYU and Utah earlier in the year, the Rebs are going to have to play much better to beat those teams. With those 4 teams and the Rebs, the Mtn West has 5 quality teams. UNLV could finish anywhere from 1st to 5th. We have the potential to win the conference, but we could also slip and finish 5th. I hope Kansas St. just happened to have the game of their life, but most of Pullen's 3's were wide open shots. I hope we get things figured out!!! Go Rebs

  15. It sounds like me and kczsjohnson are on the same page!!

  16. look at everyone fall of the wagon... good stuff. at least the monday morning quarterbacks are going to quit posting. anyways. the title is perfect. the rebels got crushed, CRUSHED..... but i think tonight kansas state may have even beat kansas tonight (sorry ryan) they could not be stopped from 3 point land and played their best game of the season. unlv has some powder puff games until hawaii.. then we will get to see how everyone bounces back from this game. im glad we got punched in the mouth tonight. this loss might be better for us then both the arizona and louisville win. lets go rebels. see you in cedar city

  17. This is a reality check for all the people claiming this team could beat anybody. Kansas St is a good team in a great conference and killed us. UNLV wouldn't even be a top 5 team in the big 12. They made 14 threes because our interior defense is absolutely pathetic so we couldn't guard any of them one on one down low. At what pt does everyone accept that Massamba is just terrible? 45 fouls now and 36 rebounds for the season. Somebody please defend those numbers. The guy is horrible. We will never be a national contender until we have some decent inside game so we don't have to double team people. This was a flat out embarrassment. Kansas St could've scored 100 easily... on the road.

  18. not falling off the bandwagon ... i worked in the athletic department for eight years beginning with national title team ... just wondering out loud if No. 18 ranking was giving too much credit to this team and what to make of these first eight games ... again the key in conference will be holding serve at home and stealing as many as you can on the road (no losses at CSU and TCU this year).

  19. johnson, you're right. The big 12, big east and ACC combined have 18 teams better than UNLV... we were demolished by probably the 5th best team in the big 12...

  20. Let everyone start dogging this team. We didn't exactly play a terrible game. We got beat by a good team. They will be in the tournament and deserve to be ranked themselves. We still have a good team. Its the same team that was 7-0. I'm not down. If you were there, K-state shot better than I've ever seen a team shoot in person from long range. It was unbelievable. If you want to put the Rebs down for K-state bringing their all, and playing a very good game, you're not a fan/supporter of the Rebs.

  21. I agree bryappie, we did get beat by a good team that ALSO had a great game.

    I think we would have been in it if we did a better job taking care of the ball but even then it would have tight. I also agree that we have a good team, this loss might just be what we needed to get us refocused.

  22. Cant blame it on the fans. Blame it on the Rebels not playing defense and getting it handed to them like red headed step children!

  23. We got beat by a quality team tonight. K-state shot the lights out from every spot on the floor. UNLV just could not match their level of physical play and got a lot of calls against them. I think that many factors were at work tonight, but most of all k-state just handed out butts to us. We've got a lot of work to do to match the conference but we can do it. Have faith in the Rebs! Don't fall off the bus!

  24. your all a bunch of clowns. Just like the idiots that sat in front of me. Most of the 14 3's from a team that shots 33% from the were contested and or from the NBA line. When a good team shoots like this there is not much you can do but tip your hat to them. The KSU fans were even saying nothing that we could have done just the best they have shot all year. You people are amazing with your lack of knowledge and perspective and ability to at the drop of a hat criticize the team and act like the sky is falling. Get on or get off but shut up!

  25. I will never be off the bandwagon, just a little worried about our performance today!!

  26. If there is a good loss, this is it. We were not going to go undefeated! We need to lose to get their heads straight. They were fortunate to get out of Tucson and Santa Cruz with a "W". The tourney isn't played in December, it is played in March. Then is when we need to play our best BBall. Do you remember last year? We beat Louisville and never were seen again. I think that this team needs to mature. When you are growing up, you win some and you lose some. We will find the hearts of the players after this. I watch a lot of Bball and the only team I have seen that is much better than us, is Kentucky. If we run into them in the tourney, this game can be a good lesson. Go REBELS!!!

  27. Give me a break with all the "fans" that now all of a sudden think we suck... here are the facts:

    K-State shot 57% from the field, 61% from behind the arc!! They shot INCREDIBLE. Pullen was 18/53 (34%) from 3 pt land for the yr before tonight's game. Tonight, he was 7/10, or double his average!! I thought even with some very suspect fouls being called, UNLV played great defense. K-State just couldn't miss.

    UNLV didn't play poorly on offense either. They shot 48% from the field and 29% from the 3. Free throw shooting percentage was 87% (20/23). I don't think you can say in all honesty that UNLV doesn't deserve its ranking. I just think that the way K State was shooting the ball tonight, nobody could have beat them. Put them up against Kansas with those numbers and see if Kansas can hang with them. The Big 12 is loaded this year and I see this Kansas State team being right up there. The Mountain West is loaded as well and I think we have the chance to have 3-4 ranked teams with UNLV, New Mexico, SDSU, and BYU establishing themselves.

    Last point, if Pullen shot his average from behind the arc tonight, that is a 9 point swing and would have effected the end game strategy and outcome. If these teams played again tomorrow, I say the game would be a toss up. I dare anyone to argue with me. Based on the offensive numbers K State put up tonight, there is no way in hell they would duplicate their performance again. They were up for this game today....

  28. Seriously, we're not as bad as we looked today, but the combo of no post play and no 3-pt shooting is an absolute killer...and since a low post threat isn't coming outta nowhere, we have to hope a couple of the guards start hitting 3s.

  29. Here is something to get excited about for the rest of the year....if we win out the rest of our non-conference (which we should), we will enter conference play at 13-1. Lets say we lose 2 of 3 away games to New Mexico, BYU, or SDSU and win out the rest as we are capable of....that would put our record at 27-3. If we win the conference tournament, we would be 30-3 and would get a fantastic seed for the tournament!! We are definitely on the rise!!

  30. wow k state! ive never seen n e one in my life shoot like that!! ive seen more then a hundred college games and havent seen that....we didnt exzactly play as poor as people think...we prolly wont see that again for the next 10 years!! i hope we are still in the polls

  31. go rebels - rickety rackety ree - and do it again and again!

  32. UNLV run out song...Chris Jones Production!!

  33. I'M STILL ANGRY!!!

    Us junkyard cats had a great time out there. EMAW!