K-State Bench Blasts Virginia Tech

Will Spradling

Nov. 16, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – With preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Jacob Pullen in foul trouble early, the Kansas State bench stepped up in a big way and K-State used a dominating second half to push the No. 3 Wildcats to a 73-57 victory over No. 22 Virginia Tech on Tuesday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State’s bench outscored its starting lineup, 37-36, in the contest, while it outscored the Hokies’ bench by 27.

The Wildcats were led in scoring by three different players in Pullen, Rodney McGruder and Jamar Samuels, who all notched 13 points. Jordan Henriquez-Roberts chipped in 10 points of his own, as four Wildcats got into double figures in the contest. Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting.

K-State’s depth on the block helped to out-rebound the Hokies, 46-37, which included 15 offensive rebounds. They dominated the paint on offense as well, outscoring Virginia Tech 34-16 in the paint.

The Wildcats stepped up the pressure on defense, holding Virginia Tech to just 34.5-percent shooting on 19-of-55 attempts from the field. The Wildcats are now 27-0 when holding opponents to less than 60 points under head coach Frank Martin.

Pullen’s foul trouble was the story early as the point guard picked up two quick fouls just 1:30 into the contest, while he picked up his third foul at the 12:33 mark in the first half to relegate himself to the bench for the remainder of the period.

In his absence, Will Spradling stepped up off of the bench, scoring five points on 2-of-5 shooting, while also taking three critical charge fouls on defense to put the momentum squarely on the Wildcats’ side in the first half.

Both teams battled back and forth early, with the game tied up 16-16 at the 9:40 mark following a 3-pointer from the Hokie Dorenzo Hudson. From there, the Wildcats were able to build the biggest lead for either team in the first half, going on a 7-0 run to take a 23-16 lead on an Henriquez-Roberts layup at the 6:20 mark. Virginia Tech fired back though, cutting the lead to just one point, 30-29, heading into halftime.

The tightly contested play continued after the break as Virginia Tech took a four-point lead at the 15:48 mark on an Eddie Jarell jumper. A McGruder jumper at the 12:45 mark gave the Wildcats the lead for good and ignited a K-State scoring burst of 31-11 over the next nine minutes to build a 19-point lead with 3:00 left to play on the way to a 16-point victory.

Next action for the Wildcats comes Thursday when Presbyterian comes to Bramlage for the final game of the Manhattan Regional of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. Tip-off for the contest is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City as well as on radio across the K-State Sports Network.