MANHATTAN, Kan. — The upset was brewing, but the 25th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats held on for a 52-44 win over the UMKC Kangaroos at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday night.
Kansas State (10-2, 7-0 home) held an 11-point lead midway through the first half, but UMKC was determined to avoid the rout. The Roos went on a 12-3 run and trimmed the deficit to 25-21 at halftime.
UMKC (4-9, 1-1 Summit) kept within five points throughout the second half, and pulled within three on a dunk by junior forward Fred Chatmon with 4:11 to play. Chatmon finished with nine points and 16 rebounds.
Senior guard Rodney McGruder and sophomore forward Nino Williams combined for eight points down the stretch to help the Cats pull away for good. McGruder finished with 17 points, five rebounds, and four steals. Williams had eight points and 13 rebounds.
The Cats edged the Roos on the boards, 38-35. It was a bad night offensively for both squads, as they both finished under 33.3% shooting from the field.
The Roos shot 33.3% from three-point range, while the Cats mustered just 20% from beyond the arc. K-State also had a bad night at the free throw line, hitting 16 of 31 attempts for a FT% of 51.6%.
K-State hosts a New Year’s Eve showdown against South Dakota on Monday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.