K-State rebounds with win over UMKC
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Rodney McGruder made 7-of-10 three-point shots en route to a career-high 24 points to push 11th-ranked Kansas State past UMKC, 80-64, at Bramlage Coliseum.
Will Spradling added a career-high 15 points, while Wally Judge supplied his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds as the Wildcats (10-3), bounced back from consecutive losses to Florida and UNLV.
"They came in here for the past 48 hours understanding losing is not acceptable," Wildcats head coach Frank Martin said of his team. "I told the team losing is like an epidemic; if you ever accept it, then you cannot beat it. You have to defeat it and the way you beat it is by attacking before it gets you."
Kansas State made 11-of-19 from beyond the arc in downing UMKC for the 15th time in 16 all-time meetings between the schools.
Jay Couisnard totaled 21 points and nine rebounds, while Spencer Johnson chipped in with 13 points for the Kangaroos (7-5), who had a brief two-game win streak snapped.
The hosts embarked on a 13-1 run to forge a 17-5 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
UMKC closed to within 25-18 before the Wildcats posted the next eight points to extend the lead to 15 on a McGruder three-pointer with 7 1/2 minutes left until the intermission.
The lead grew to 19 on a McGruder dunk and three-pointer in the final 80 seconds before Kansas State took a 44-29 advantage at the intermission.
Trailing by as many as 22 in the second half, UMKC drew to within 67-57 on a Johnson triple with 5:40 to play.
However, the Wildcats dashed any hopes of a dramatic comeback by scoring the next six points and cruising to victory over the final 3 1/2 minutes.
Kansas State has won 29 of its last 30 non-conference home games and improved to 58-4 against non-conference foes at home since the 2004-05...The Wildcats have won 15 of their last 17 and 34 of their last 43 December games...McGruder's seven three-point makes are the fourth-highest single game total in school history. He finished 8-of-14 from the field...Spradling made 3-of-4 from long distance. The Wildcats made only 11-of-27 from the foul line in contrast to UMKC, which made 19-of-23...Couisnard hit all 11 of his attempts at the charity stripe but was just 4-of-12 from the floor...The Kangaroos made only 18-of-51 from the field for 36 percent in falling to 1-5 on the road.
12/24 01:18:04 ET