K-State Upends USC Upstate, 72-53

Omari Lawrence scored a career-high 10 points against USC Upstate on Sunday.

Dec. 2, 2012

Final Stats |  Quotes |  Notes |  Photo Gallery Game Highlights | Press Conference

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State got back into the win column on Sunday, after defeating USC Upstate 72-53 at home. The Wildcats (6-1) were led by Rodney McGruder, who finished the day with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

K-State has now won 26 consecutive non-conference home games in the month of December and boost a 37-1 mark in the month at Bramlage Coliseum the past 10 seasons with the last loss coming to Rutgers on Dec. 28, 2004.  The team is now 9-0 all-time against the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The opening period saw both teams trade baskets, with neither team able to build a lead bigger than four points for the majority of the half. With the score tied at 18 apiece, the Wildcat shooters found their mark, going on an 18-2 run to take a 36-20 lead into the break. McGruder led the team at halftime with 11 points while Omari Lawrence added a career high 10. K-State shot 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) in the period.

K-State came out on fire to start the second half, opening up a 24-point lead with a 15-7 run in the first five minutes of the stanza. The Wildcats led by at least 20 points for most of the period until the last minute of the game. Thomas Gipson and Adrian Diaz finished the day in double digit scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Gipson also added seven rebounds while Nino Williams led K-State with nine rebounds. This was the third time this season that at least four Wildcat players have scored in double-digits.

K-State returns to action on Saturday, when the team travels to Washington, D.C. for a matchup with George Washington. The game is set for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff on CBS College Sports.  It will serve as a homecoming of sorts for McGruder after the trip to New York for the NIT was for three other Wildcats.