Rodney McGruder Explodes for 26 Second Half Points as Kansas State Secures Statement Win

Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports

Back on Dec. 22, Kansas State grabbed their biggest statement win of the non-conference schedule by dispatching Florida by six. On Saturday, the Wildcats added to their resume and started Big 12 play with a win over Oklahoma State.

Trailing by two in a tightly-contested game at halftime, Wildcats’ star and leading scorer Rodney McGruder was being limited on the offensive end. The senior managed only two points in the first 20 minutes of play, but after the halftime intermission, things quickly started to change.

In fact, they changed pretty drastically, as McGruder exploded for 26 points in the second-half, finishing the contest with a game-high 28. Most importantly, K-State held the Cowboys’ late push at bay and improved to 12-2 overall.

The victory on Saturday marked the second ranked victory for the Wildcats, while their two losses on the season are nothing to frown about. Michigan and Gonzaga, both of which are nationally ranked in the top ten at the moment, are the only blemishes on the resume of a squad that continues to look like a consistent threat in the Big 12.

First-year head coach Bruce Weber has done a terrific job to begin the season, but consistency will be a theme for Kansas State as the brutal, conference schedule starts to pick up. Weber, who was at Illinois a season ago, knows a little bit about hot starts and late season collapses. In fact, the Illini had that exact trend a season ago, which ultimately led to Weber’s dismissal.

K-State will hit the road in each of there next two games, as the Wildcats must now prepare for West Virginia and TCU.

 

Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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