Wildcats Post 10th Conference Victory

Will Spradling

Feb. 18, 2013

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — Will Spradling tied a career-high 19 points, grabbed four rebounds and hit a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe to lead the Wildcats to a 71-61 win over West Virginia.

With the win, K-State (21-5, 10-3 Big 12) remains on top of the Big 12 standings and marks the sixth time in the last seven years the Wildcats have earned 10 or more conference wins. It is the 14th time since 1973.

K-State dominated in the first half hitting 11-of-22 from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the arc. The Wildcats got off to a hot start outscoring the Mountaineers 11-4 in the first five minutes. West Virginia was held scoreless for more than five minutes while the Wildcats went on a 12-0 run until a layup from Aaric Murray with 10:58 left in the half made it 18-6 in favor of K-State, but an Omari Lawrence jumper pushed the Wildcats back up to a 20-6 lead. It was back-and-forth scoring for the remaining minutes, but K-State would find itself with a 33-20 lead headed into halftime.

Despite foul trouble early on, K-State held West Virginia to its lowest score in the first half since the Mountaineers’ season opener at Gonzaga when they put up 18 points in an 84-50 loss.

Spradling opened up the second half with an old-fashioned three-point play, and a Nino Williams jumper would extend the lead to 38-20. A technical foul at the 16:25 mark put Spradling at the free-throw line to give K-State its largest lead of the game at 21 points. West Virginia bounced back to come within 14, but Rodriguez hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats another spark.

The Mountaineers acquired a second technical foul along with a personal foul at the 9:24 mark resulting in four flawless Spradling free throws. With the clock winding down, West Virginia got within 10, but the Wildcats held on to claim a 71-61 victory over the Mountaineers.

Rodriguez dished out seven assists in the game, marking the 14th time this season the sophomore has had five or more assists in a game. Rodriguez also added 11 points and hit a perfect 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. Thomas Gipson and Williams were solid off of the bench combining for a total of 24 points. Gipson played 11 minutes in the first half and outscored the Mountaineer starters 9-7.

Rodney McGruder added 10 points and five rebounds, while Jordan Henriquez played solid defensively grabbing seven rebounds and tallying four blocks.

The Wildcats shot 50-percent on the night (23-of-46) marking the seventh time this season K-State has shot 50-percent or better. The Wildcats are 6-1 in those games.  

K-State is back in action on Saturday as the Wildcats travel to Austin, Texas, to take on the Texas Longhorns. The game will be aired on the Longhorn Network at 7 p.m.