UNLV Upsets No. 11 Kansas St. 63-59|
Dec. 21, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Tre'Von Willis scored 16 points and Oscar Bellfield hit a key 3-pointer in the final 70 seconds, leading UNLV to a 63-59 victory Tuesday night over No. 11 Kansas State, whose two best players were suspended shortly before the game.
The NCAA, citing receipt of impermissible benefits, told point guard Jacob Pullen, a four-year starter and preseason All-American, to sit out three games. Curtis Kelly, the Wildcats' only other senior, was also told not to play and Kansas State said the extent of his punishment would be decided later.
The Wildcats (9-3) had trouble adjusting to the absence of their senior leaders and top two scorers and lost their second in a row.
Bellfield's 3-pointer gave the Runnin' Rebels (11-2) a 59-54 lead with 1:10 to go.
Martavious Irving's running layup sliced the lead to 59-56, but Willis had two foul shots and Bellfield hit one in the final seconds to seal the victory over the highest-ranked team the Rebels had played in the regular season in more than three years.
Nick Russell had 12 points for Kansas State. Rodney McGruder, who lost a tooth in the final minutes when he crashed to the floor after making a steal, had 11.
Pullen, who had started 82 games in a row, is the only preseason All-American Kansas State ever had. A four-year starter and three-time team captain, he leads the Wildcats in scoring with 16.5 per game and has climbed to No. 4 all time in school history with 1,688 points. In Kansas State's victory over the Rebels last year in Las Vegas, he scored 28 points.
The 6-9 Kelly, the only other senior on the squad, is averaging 10.3 points and four rebounds.
After Jamar Samuels' 8-footer gave the Wildcats their biggest lead at 40-34, Willis' bucket ignited a 14-2 spurt by the Rebels capped by Willis' getting wide open on a give-and-go and a layup by Quintrell Thomas that put UNLV on top 46-42. The Wildcats never led again.
After making a steal with about 4 minutes left, McGruder crashed face-first onto the court and knocked out a tooth. McGruder went to the bench and officials picked up the tooth before play resumed.
Bellfield's two free throws put UNLV on top 50-42 but McGruder's driving layup sliced the lead to 52-51. Anthony Marshall drove in for a bucket, got fouled by Russell, and made the free throw. Samuels' bucket with 2:29 to go brought Kansas State within two points at 56-54 before Bellfield's 3-pointer.
Marshall also had 11 points for the Rebels. Irving had 10 for Kansas State, which drew a loud, capacity crowd of 18,442 to Kansas City's Sprint Center.