Rodney McGruder broke out of his shooting slump by scoring 26 points and K-State fought off a pesky effort from Texas Southern 78-69 on Tuesday night at Bramlage Coliseum. McGruder shot 12 of 17 from the field and made two of four free throws. He added three assists and two rebounds. Sophomore forward Thomas Gipson also contributed a double-double with 14 points on five of seven field goals, and he added 12 rebounds. The Tigers were led in scoring by Oklahoma State transfer Ray Penn with 24 points, and six three point shots made.
K-State (8-2) trailed the majority of the first half, but took a 26-25 lead with 4:25 left before halftime on a Shane Southwell jump shot. Texas Southern (1-10) wouldn’t lead again, as the Cats would lead by as many as 15 points including a 67-52 edge with 4:43 to play. But the Tigers went on a 14-5 run to close within 72-66 of K-State. A McGruder layup, and four free throws from Will Spradling preserved the Wildcat victory.
K-State will get another shot at a top 10 team this Saturday night when they face #8 Florida in the Hy-Vee Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Tipoff will be at 7:00pm and coverage begins 6:00pm on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN from the K-State Sports Network.
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