Another Big 12 win for Wildcats

12 Jan

Rodney McGruder and Shane Southwell each scored 17 points as No. 18 Kansas State earned a 65-64 road win against West Virginia in Morgantown on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats moved ahead 65-64 when Southwell swished two free throws with 21 seconds to play.

West Virginia had one last opportunity when it inbounded the ball with 9.1 seconds remaining. Angel Rodriguez tipped the pass, forcing the Mountaineers into the backcourt to recover the loose ball. Southwell blocked a final shot attempt by West Virginia, and the Wildcats hung on for a tough road win.

Kansas State held a 36-33 lead at halftime. The team’s domination on the boards during that time helped, as the Wildcats held a 12-4 rebounding advantage through the first 20 minutes. By the end of the game, though, that edge had eroded to just 28-27 in favor of Kansas State.

The Wildcats dealt with foul trouble throughout the game. Jordan Henriquez got called for his fourth with 13:20 still to play and eventually fouled out, and Thomas Gipson finished with four.

The Mountaineers got to the foul line 22 times compared to 14 opportunities for the Wildcats, but West Virginia converted just 12 of its 22 attempts, while Kansas State made 9 of 14 – including 6 of 8 in the second half.

Granted, West Virginia entered the game unranked, and no one expects much of the Mountaineers this season, but this was another big win for a Kansas State team with first-year coach Bruce Weber.

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