Jacob Pullen scored 20 of his career-high 34 points in the first half to help dig No. 2 seed Kansas State out of an early 10-point hole, and the Wildcats turned away Jimmer Fredette and BYU 84-72 on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Pullen came alive with a scoring flurry shortly after he and Fredette got tangled up in transition in the first half, and K-State (28-7) wouldn’t trail again in earning its first round of 16 appearance since 1988.
Pullen surpassed 30 points for the third time in his career and helped seal the victory with a 3-pointer and six free throws down the stretch. Equally as important as his scoring was his physical defense against Fredette, who had scored 37 points to get the seventh-seeded Cougars (30-6) past Florida in double overtime in the first round.
Fredette finished with 21 points on 4-of-13 shooting.