No. 25 Kansas State holds off UMKC
Manhattan, KS – No. 25 Kansas State had another woeful shooting display, but the defense once again did its part.
Rodney McGruder had 17 points, five rebounds and four steals in the Wildcats' 52-44 win over UMKC.
Thomas Gipson tallied 13 points and six boards, while Nino Williams added eight points and 13 rebounds for Kansas State (10-2), which shot just 32.1 percent (17-of-53) from the floor, its sixth time this season it has failed to reach the 40 percent clip.
The Wildcats' defense, though, held the Kangaroos to 33.3 percent (16-of-48) from the field. Kansas State's defense had allowed the opposition to shoot just 39.1 percent heading in.
"Sometimes you have to win different ways," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said, "and we won with defense tonight."
Thomas Staton netted 13 points off the bench to lead UMKC (4-9).
The Wildcats never trailed in the second half but never led by more than double digits.
Williams' jumper gave Kansas State a 47-38 lead with 1:41 left and UMKC never cut the deficit below six the rest of the way.
"We were in a position to beat a top-25 team at their place," Kansas City coach Matt Brown said. "I don't think they respected our team. I don't think they respected our program."
Kansas State stormed out of the gate and led 7-0 before McGruder's 3-pointer a little more than four minutes in gave the Wildcats a 12-3 cushion. Kansas State's margin reached 11, but UMKC closed the opening half on a 12-5 spurt to pull within 25-21 heading into the break.
Kansas State has won all 10 home tilts and 16 of 17 overall in the series against UMKC ... UMKC turned the ball over 18 times, while the Wildcats gave the ball away 11 times.