Rodney McGruder scored 22 points to lead four players in double figures as Kansas State shrugged off a sluggish start and ran away from USC-Upstate 72-53 Sunday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State trailed 12-8 midway through the first half but then fought back to take a 22-20 lead. The Wildcats then used a 21-0 run that spanned both halves to salt the game away and bounce back from their loss in the NIT Preseason Tournament Final to Michigan on November 23.
Thomas Gipson, receiving his first career start in place of a hobbled Jordan Henriquez responded with 11 points and made five of his nine shot attempts from the floor. Omari Lawrence had his best outing as a Wildcat so far with 10 points and Jordan Diaz added 10 of his own.
With the victory, K-State improves to 6-1 on the season and will next see action on Saturday when they travel to Washington D.C. for the first time in 72 years to take on George Washington.
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