K-State Takes Down Texas Southern, 78-69

Thomas Gipson

Dec. 18, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Rodney McGruder went 12-of-17 from the field to lead all scorers with a season-high 26 points, while sophomore Thomas Gipson grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds and posted a double-double, en route to a 78-69 win over Texas Southern on Tuesday night to improve to 8-2 on the season.

McGruder hit a pair of jumpers in the opening minute, but the Tigers had an answer for McGruder going on an 11-2 run in the first five minutes making the score 11-6. In the final four minutes of the first-half, Martavious Irving hit the first K-State 3-pointer of the game putting the Wildcats up 29-25. K-State would lead at half 35-31. McGruder tallied 14 points in the first half, while Texas Southern’s Omar Strong notched 13. Senior Jordan Henriquez scored eight points in the half going a perfect 4-of-4 on the night.

Texas Southern’s Raymond Penn picked up 18 points in the second-half for a total of 24 points after getting hot from long range. Penn was perfect from the 3-point range going 4-of-4 on the night, three of which came in the final five minutes of the game.

Gipson pulled down eight rebounds in the second-half, seven of which came on the offensive end. The sophomore was strong defensively tallying a career-high four blocks and three steals. Sophomore Angel Rodriguez added nine points in the second half, and junior Will Spradling went 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute of the game to give the Wildcats a 78-69 win.

The Wildcats were efficient on offense with a season-high 21 assists, surpassing a season-high 20 assists against Lamar in November. Thanks to those assists K-State shot 56.4 percent on 31-of-55 shooting. Texas Southern went 26-of-57 on the night.

K-State was strong on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers 38-26. The Wildcats were solid inside, notching 46 points in the paint, while the Tigers were strong from behind the arc hitting 13-of-28.  

K-State will head to Kansas City, Mo., this Saturday for the Hy-Vee Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center as the Wildcats will take on the No. 8 Florida Gators at 7 p.m.