McGruder Lifts K-State Over Oklahoma St in Big 12 Opener

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — After a cold start, senior guard Rodney McGruder caught fire, and the 25th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats topped the 22nd-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys 73-67 on Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.

With the win, Kansas State (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) snaps a four-game losing streak in conference openers.

McGruder had just two points in the first half, but lit it up in the second half, finishing with 28 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Not to be outdone, Cowboys freshman phenom guard Marcus Smart finished with 25 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

Oklahoma State (10-3, 0-1 Big 12) took a 16-12 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Le’Bryan Nash with 12:19 to play in the first half. Kansas State answered with a 12-2 run, and took a 24-18 lead at the 7:48 mark.

After several more lead changes, the Cowboys led 32-30 at halftime. The Wildcats got the lead back on McGruder’s three-pointer with 13:31 to play in the second half, and never trailed again.

Oklahoma State tied the game at 64-64 with 2:45 to play, but McGruder hit a pair of three’s to give the Cats a five-point cushion the rest of the way.

This game featured a total of 12 lead changes. K-State shot 45% from the field, and 33% from beyond the arc. Oklahoma State finished 41% from the field, and 27% from three-point range. The Wildcats outrebounded the Cowboys 39-29.

Kansas State hits the road to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers next Saturday afternoon at WVU Coliseum.

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