Rebels Run Past Wildcats

Rodney McGruder

Dec. 21, 2010

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A defensive battle that included a scoring drought of three minutes by both teams in the second half resulted in Kansas State suffering its third loss of the season 63-59 to the UNLV Rebels on Tuesday night in front of a sold-out Sprint Center.

The Wildcats trailed for the majority of the first half but flipped the script with 6:18 left in the first frame with the score 28-19. From that mark K-State went on a 15-4 run to close the half and took their first lead with 2:43 on the clock with a fast break layup by Martavious Irving, 29-28. In that stretch the Wildcat defense held the Rebels without a field goal, 0-of-9 from the floor. The first half ended with a half-court heave from Nick Russell that swished through the net to give K-State a 34-31 advantage into the locker room.

K-State stretched the lead early in the second half to 40-34 with baskets from Rodney McGruder, Irving and Jamar Samuels. UNLV responded with a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to hold a 48-42 advantage with 11:50 remaining. Trailing by two, 54-56, the Wildcats left Oscar Bellfield open for a 3-pointer from the wing to stretch the UNLV lead to 59-54 with 1:22 left on the clock.

The Rebels forced K-State into 11 turnovers in the second half turning that into nine points. Willis Tre’Von fueled the engine for the Rebels with eight of his game-high 16 points coming in the second half.

McGruder recorded his first double-double of his career with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 10 rebounds. The sophomore recorded 29 minutes in the contest.

The Wildcats had three other players record double figures. Russell led the Wildcats with 12 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Samuels chipped in 11 and Irving totaled 10.

This marks the second loss in the confines of the Sprint Center this season with a previous loss to Duke in the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.

K-State returns to its home court with a contest against UMKC at 7:00 p.m. Thursday.