McGruder Shoots Wildcats Past Texas, 84-80

Rodney McGruder

Jan. 18, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Rodney McGruder continued his stretch of strong play as he scored a career high 33 points to push Kansas State past Texas, 84-80. This is the second time in three games McGruder has 30 or more points.

The opening 10 minutes of the first half saw the Wildcats(13-4, 2-3) race out to a quick  29-18 lead over the Longhorns (12-6, 2-3), with McGruder connecting on two consecutive 3-pointers followed by a Will Spradling shot from behind the arc. McGruder started the game hot as the junior made his first five shots and scored 13 points with 9:38 left in the opening half.

Leading by as many as 15 points, the Wildcats allowed Texas to go on a 19-2 run and claim its first lead of the night at 40-38. A McGruder 3-pointer and a Victor Ojeleye tip-in saw the Wildcats hold a slim 43-42 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Longhorns kept the game close never allowing the Wildcats to go up by more than seven points. Poor free-throw shooting (21-of-39) by K-State gave Texas a chance in the waning minutes of the game, but a steal by Martavious Irving followed by a monstrous dunk from McGruder sealed the victory for K-State.

Three other Wildcats joined McGruder in double digit scoring as Jamar Samuels scored 14, Thomas Gipson added 11 points with nine coming in the second half and Spradling scoring 11. J'Covan Brown led the Longhorns with 22 points with Sheldon McClellan adding 19.

Up next for K-State is a road trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., as Wildcats take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday. The game will be shown live on the Big 12 Network at 12:30 p.m.