K-State's Rally Falls Short at Kansas, 67-49

Junior Rodney McGruder led the Wildcats with 15 points in 39 minutes.

Jan. 4, 2012

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LAWRENCE, Kan. - No. 23/22 Kansas State saw its six-game winning streak end on Wednesday night, as No. 14/15 Kansas posted a 67-49 win in the Big 12 Conference opener for both squads at the always-sold out Allen Fieldhouse.

The Wildcats (11-2, 0-1 Big 12) were held to a season-low 49 points on a season-worst 31.6 percent shooting, including just 25 percent from 3-point range.  The team was held to a season-low 26 rebounds, including just 14 defensive boards, while the Jayhawks (11-3, 1-0 Big 12) grabbed 50.  Kansas shot 45.5 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the first half.   

The 49 points were the fewest scored by K-State in more than year since registering just 44 against Florida at the Orange Bowl Classic on Dec. 18, 2010.  It was also the fewest scored against the Jayhawks since posting 47 in a loss at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 17, 1999.  The field goal percentage was the lowest since shooting just 30.8 percent at Colorado on Feb. 12, 2011. 

Junior Rodney McGruder scored in double figures for the third consecutive game with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-14 field goals, including 1-of-5 from 3-point range, in 39 minutes.  McGruder also added team-highs of five rebounds and three steals.  Senior Jamar Samuels chipped in 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers, and five rebounds in 28 minutes.

Junior Travis Releford paced three Jayhawks with a career-high 16 points on 6-of-11 field goals to go with a career-best 11 rebounds in 30 minutes.  All-American candidate Thomas Robinson also collected a double-double with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a game-high 14 rebounds.  Senior Tyshawn Taylor added 13 points and Jeff Withy had eight points and nine rebounds.

Down as many as 18 points in the first half, K-State rallied to within three points at 39-36 with 12:30 to go in the second half on a 3-pointer by Samuels.  The Wildcats held it to within a few possessions, including 42-38 at the 11:45 mark and 47-41 with 9:04 remaining. 

However, Kansas halted any comeback with a decisive 9-0 run minutes later, pushing the lead to double figures that they would maintain for the rest of the game.

K-State was held to a season-low 20 points in the first half on 27.6 percent shooting, as the team trailed 35-20 at halftime.  Kansas built a 23-5 lead with 8:39 to go in the half.

K-State returns home on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats welcome No. 7/6 and unbeaten Missouri (14-0, 1-0 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum for the final time as members of the same athletics conference.  The game will tip at 12:47 p.m. CST on the Big 12 Network.

As a reminder, season ticket holders who cannot attend Saturday's game due to the Cotton Bowl on Friday night can donate their tickets to Fort Riley soldiers and families as well as area youth organizations by emailing promotions@kstatesports.com with their name and ticket location or by calling (800) 221-CATS.  Season ticket holders can also sell their tickets online through Powercat Ticket Exchange via the official www.kstatesports.com site.