K-State ousts OK State to reach Big 12 final
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Rodney McGruder scored 25 points and Angel Rodriguez added 17, as 11th-ranked Kansas State beat No. 14 Oklahoma State, 68-57, in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
Jordan Henriquez had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (27-6), who will try for their first Big 12 tourney title Saturday against seventh-ranked Kansas.
The Wildcats lost to the Jayhawks in the 2010 championship game and lost to Kansas twice this regular season.
Marcus Smart scored 18 and Le'Bryan Nash added 11 for the Cowboys (24-8), who edged Baylor on Thursday.
K-State was up by five at the half, but then limited the Cowboys to 29 percent shooting (9-of-31) in the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Wildcats went 12- of-24 from the field.
Oklahoma State scored nine in a row early on for an 11-7 edge. K-State used a flurry of its own late, a 16-4 push, and held a 28-23 lead at the break.
McGruder's jumper quickly pushed the advantage to double digits at 36-25 before Oklahoma State got within 37-31 on a pair of free throws from Brian Williams.
K-State pulled away for good, though, with an ensuing 9-2 spurt. Thomas Gipson capped the run with a dunk with 11:35 remaining.
"We got on transition. We forced them to take some bad shots," McGruder said. "That allowed us to push the ball a little bit on the break, and we got baskets."
The Cowboys didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
"We just weren't in rhythm to start the game and it just carried over as the game went on. And we just couldn't find the rhythm, and it just hurt us," Smart said.
McGruder had nine rebounds ... The Cowboys finished 30.5 percent from the field, including 5-of-21 from 3-point range.
03/16 01:28:02 ET