K-State Earns NYC Trip with 87-26 win over UAH

Junior Shane Southwell tallied a near double-double on Tuesday night with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Nov. 13, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Shane Southwell scored a career-high 16 points, as Kansas State pounded Alabama-Huntsville, 87-26, to capture the NIT Season Tip-Off Midwest Regional and a trip to the tournament semifinals at historic Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21.

The Wildcats will play No. 8 seed Delaware (2-1) on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU, while top-seed Michigan (3-0) and fourth-seed Pittsburgh (3-0) will concluded the doubleheader at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.  The winners will meet for the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship on Friday, Nov. 23 at 3:30 p.m. CT on ESPN, while the losers will play in the consolation game set for Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT, also on ESPN.  The Blue Hens upset No. 2 Virginia, 59-53, on Tuesday night in Charlottesville, Va.

The Wildcats overwhelmed the Division II Chargers with a stellar defensive effort, holding UAH to just 26 points on 16.4 percent shooting (9-of-55), including 9.1 percent (3-of-33) from 3-point range.  The 26 points were one shy of the Bramlage Coliseum record for fewest points in a game set by Savannah State (25) on Jan. 7, 2008, while the 16.4 field goal percentage was also second to Savannah State's 15.5 percent (9-of-58).  The 61-point margin of victory tied for the largest in school history, as the Wildcats defeated Delaware State, 115-54, on Dec. 7, 1991.

K-State shot a season-best 55.7 percent (34-of-61) from the field, including 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from 3-point range.  It marked the highest field goal percentage since the Wildcats connected on 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the field against North Carolina Centeral on Feb. 17, 2009.  The squad dominated the boards, posting a 55-22 advantage and holding a 44-8 edge in points in the paint. 

Four players scored in double figures led by Southwell's career-high 16 points, which came on 6-of-8 field goals, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.  Southwell also posted a career-best nine rebounds.  Senior Rodney McGruder chipped in 11 points and six rebounds, while junior Will Spradling and sophomore Angel Rodriguez added 10 points each.  Rodriguez added six assists and two steals.  All 13 Wildcats who played in the game scored at least one field goal.

UAH, which is ranked third in the NABC Division II Coaches poll, did not have a double-digit scorer, as three players - Conner Blasi, Jaime Smith and Wayne Dedrick - all scored four points each. 

The Wildcats (3-0) controlled the game from the opening tip, jumping out to a 19-2 lead in the opening nine minutes of the game. K-State's defense set the tone for the night, holding the Chargers (2-1) to single-digit scoring for nearly 19 minutes. Rodriguez led the Wildcats early, scoring all 10 of his points in the opening half, while dishing out four assists and grabbing four rebounds.

A one-handed alleyoop dunk by Jordan Henriquez highlighted the scoring for the Wildcats in the closing minutes of the first half as K-State went into the break with a commanding 47-11 lead.  The 36-point lead tied for the largest halftime advantage in Bramlage Coliseum history.

The second half saw more of the same as K-State's swarming defense made it difficult for the Chargers to make shots as the Wildcats held UAH to 5-27 (18.5 percent) shooting in the half and 9-55 (16.4 percent) for the game.

For the second game in a row, K-State's depth continued to be a difference maker as the Wildcats outscored the Chargers bench, 44-11.  The team has now outscored its opponents, 113-50, in bench scoring this season. 

The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Nov. 18 when they host North Florida (1-1) at 1 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum.  Tickets can be purchased for a little as $15.