MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – Kansas State connected on 14 3-point field goals, including a combined 10 from senior Tylor Perry and junior Cam Carter, as the Wildcats led from wire-to-wire in an impressive 91-68 win over preseason Summit League favorite South Dakota State before 9,421 fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Monday night.
The 14 made 3-point field goals tied for the fifth-most in school history and the most since the Wildcats knocked down 16 at Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2019.
Carter scored a career-high 25 points, hitting on 10-of-20 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, while Perry also netted 20 points, tying his season-high with 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. They are the first Wildcat teammates this season to each post a 20-point game and the first since Keyontae Johnson (22) and Markquis Nowell (20) did it against Michigan State in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Freshman R.J. Jones notched the other 4 3-point field goals, finishing with a season-high 14 points on 4-of-6 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point land.
In all, four registered double figures, as senior big man Will McNair Jr. tallied a season-high 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with 7 rebounds.
Buoyed by the stellar night from beyond the arc, K-State (2-1) scored a season-high 91 points on a season-best 57.4 percent (35-of-61) shooting from the field, including 56 percent (14-of-25) from 3-point range, and 77.8 percent (7-of-8) from the free throw line. The Wildcats scored 40 points in the paint, while they had 17 fast-break points, 16 second-chance points and 15 points off turnovers. They had an assist on 24 of their 35 field goals.
The defense was equally impressive, holding the Jackrabbits (1-2) to 41.5 percent (27-of-65) shooting, including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from long range, while they made just 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from the free throw line.
Coming off a game on Friday night where they allowed Bellarmine to cut a 19-point lead into single digits in the final minutes, the Wildcats were determined from the tip to not let that happen again.
The team jumped out to an 18-6 lead after a 4-point play from Jones right before the second media timeout with 11:52 to play before halftime. They stayed ahead, although the Jackrabbits recovered from a 3-for-16 start to the game to cut the deficit to 27-22 after a 3-pointer from senior Luke Appel with 7:23 remaining.
Carter, who at one point scored 9 straight points and had 15 points in the first half for the second straight game, was able ignite an 11-2 run with a jumper on the next possession following the Appel 3-pointer that pushed the lead back into double figures at 38-24. Five straight by the Jackrabbits cut the deficit to single digits at the half.
Perry opened the second half was his third 3-pointer then a fourth triple put K-State ahead in double figures for good with just over 16 minutes remaining. The lead grew to 20 points with 9:24 to play after a layup by redshirt freshman Dorian Finister and another 3-pointer by Carter.
The performance was even more impressive when considering K-State played with just 10 available players after junior Arthur Kaluma missed the game due to injury.
South Dakota State saw three players score in double figures led by senior Charlie Easley’s 21 points on 9-of-13 field goals to along with 4 rebounds and a career-best 6 steals. Fellow senior Luke Appel posted 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting with a team-high 7 rebounds, while Lawrence native Zeke Mayo, who was averaging 28 points, was held to just 11 points.
HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“I’m thankful for our students who showed up and made an incredible environment. South Dakota State is a really good basketball team. They’re gonna win a whole bunch of games. I personally was very concerned about this one, and they didn’t disappoint. I was really pleased. In the first half, I thought we played about 15 minutes the way we’re capable of playing, minus the turnovers on top of the defensive end. Then in the second half, there was probably only about six to eight minutes. We decided to play the scoreboard and made a lot of shots, but then there was a stretch where they made 8 out of 10 shots, and we can’t allow that. We have to be better than that. I know Cam [Carter] had a career high, but I was more pleased with what he did on the defensive end because that young man [Zeke Mayo] was averaging 28 (points) coming in. He’s a great player, and some of it was some missed shots he normally made, but a lot of it was Cam [Carter] really being locked in.”
On Cam Carter’s focus in this game…
“Everybody’s talked about Cam [Carter] being a weapon this year, and I’ve said it multiple times. For us, we need him to be a weapon on both ends. I think he could be one of the best two way guards in America. We want him to not just focus on being a weapon on offense, but what he brings to us on the defensive end. Today he bought into that role, and I see that moving forward.”
Hot from 3-point range: K-State connected on 14 3-pointers on the night, tying for the fifth-most in a single game in school history and the most since hitting on 16 at Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2019. All told, the Wildcats connected on 56 percent (14-of-25) of their shots from 3-point range. It marked the second time this season that the team reached double-digit 3-pointers, following the 12 they hit against Bellarmine on Friday night.
Three different players had at least 4 treys, including a season-high 6 by senior Tylor Perry on 8 attempts. Junior Cam Carter and freshman R.J. Jones each connected on 4 made 3-pointers. The 6 made triples by Perry are the most by a Wildcat since Markquis Nowell also made 6 at West Virginia on March 4, 2023.
Noteworthy Numbers: K-State scored its season-high 91 points on 57.4 percent (35-of-61) shooting, including 56.0 percent (14-of-25) from 3-point range, and made 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from the free throw line. The Wildcats scored 40 of their 91 points in the paint, while they had 26 bench points, 17 fast-break points, 16 second-chance points and 15 points off turnovers.
In addition to the impressive night from beyond the arc, the team shared the ball extremely well, dishing out a season-best 24 assists on their 35 made field goals. Three players had at least 5 assists in the game led by freshman Dai Dai Ames’ season-high 7 dimes.
K-State won the rebounding battle, 38-32, including 8 offensive rebounds.
Success in Non-Conference Play: K-State extended its home non-conference winning streak to 11 games, which dates to the 2021-22 season. The Wildcats are now 121-12 in home non-conference games since 2006-07.
Starting 5: With Kaluma out due to injury, head coach Jerome Tang changed the starting lineup for the third straight game, going with senior guard Tylor Perry, freshman guard Dai Dai Ames, junior guard Cam Carter, senior wing David N’Guessan and senior center Will McNair Jr. Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started each of the first 3 games.
Carter has now started 39 consecutive games dating back to 2022-23, while N’Guessan started for the 21st time in his K-State career. It was the second start for McNair. Ames earned his first career start, becoming the first freshmen to start since Nijel Pack in 2020-21.
All 10 available players saw action.
Bucket Getter: Junior Cam Carter continued his impressive start to the season with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-20 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds in 33 minutes. It was his first career 20-point game after tying his previous career-high with 17 against Bellarmine on Friday night.
Carter has now scored in double figures in 11 games in his K-State career with 6 of those games coming in the last 12.
Another Scoring Night for Perry: Senior Tylor Perry tied his season-high with 22 points on 7-of-9 field goals, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with 5 assists and 5 rebounds in 36 minutes. He now has at least 4 treys in each of the first 3 games.
Perry has now scored in double figures in 12 straight games dating back to last season at North Texas. Overall, he has double-digit points in 60 of his 70 career games in Division I.
Jones Collects First Double-Digit Scoring Game: Freshman R.J. Jones scored in double figures for the first time as a Wildcat, posting 14 points on 4-of-6 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with 3 assists, 2 rebounds and a block in 19 minutes.
It marked the second straight game that a Wildcat true freshmen registered double figure points after Dai Dai Ames had 12 points vs. Bellarmine.
McNair Dominates the Paint: Senior Will McNair Jr. earned his first double-digit scoring game as a Wildcat, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in just over 20 minutes of action.
K-State departs for The Bahamas on Tuesday morning where the Wildcats will play in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Classic in Nassau on Friday-Sunday, Nov. 17-19. The team will face Providence (2-0) on Friday at 5 p.m., CT before playing either Georgia (2-1) or Miami (2-0) on Sunday. Both games will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.