First place in the Big 12 belongs solely to K-State as Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez combined for 42 points in a 79-70 victory over Iowa State on Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum. The #13 ranked Cats entered the day tied with Kansas, but now at 8-2 in the league, have a one-game lead over the Jayhawks after their 72-66 loss at Oklahoma.
Iowa State would lead by as many as seven points in the first half, before K-State rallied for a 33-32 lead at halftime. The Cats never trailed by more than a point in the second half, and took the lead for good on an 11-2 run after the Cyclones tied the game at 50 with 12:14 left. That spurt was comprised by a pair of three-pointers by Martavious Irving, and a two and a three from McGruder. Another 10-2 K-State run ran the score to 71-57 over the Cyclones with 4:53 left, with five points each from Rodriguez and Thomas Gipson. The Cats’ last nine points were all on free throws, as they made all 12 free throw attempts in the second half, and 18 of 22 for the game.
McGruder led K-State (19-4, 8-2) with 22 points, Rodriguez had 20, Gipson had 16, and Irving added 10. Gipson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, and McGruder topped the Cats with five assists. Korie Lucious scored 16 points for Iowa State (16-7, 6-4), while Tyrus McGee had 15 points, and Melvin Ejim had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Twenty turnovers did in the Cyclones, with ten in each half. K-State had 10 turnovers in the first half as well, but only four in the second half.
As inconceivable as it sounds, K-State can take a two-game lead over Kansas in the Big 12 race on Monday night with a win at Allen Fieldhouse. Tipoff will be at 8:00pm, and coverage begins at 7:00pm from the K-State Sports Network on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and 101.5 K-Rock.
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