MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State on Saturday night sure didn't look like the same team that upset a top-ten opponent a week ago at Sprint Center.
Coming off a huge win against then-No. 8 Florida, No. 25 Kansas State struggled against the Kansas City Kangaroos on Saturday night in Manhatan. The Wildcats didn't break the 30-point barrier at halftime and barely scored over 50 points against a team with a losing record.
Luckily, the Kansas State defense dominated Kansas City to help the Wildcats escape with a 52-44 victory before a sell-out crowd of 12,528 fans at Bramlage Coliseum. That was a season-low in points for K-State, who also shot a season-low 32.1 percent.
It was Kansas City's closest ever game against a top-25 team. The ‘Roos previous closest game against a top-25 team was 15 points at No. 24 Kansas on November 16, 2008. Kansas City has faced plenty of ranked team this season. This was the ‘Roos' third game against a top-25 program, marking the first time in school history the ‘Roos have faced that many.
The Wildcats were without starting point guard Angel Rodriguez and reserve point guard Martavious Irving because of injuries. It made a big difference. The Wildcats made only two 3-pointers.
K-State Senior guard Rodney McGruder scored a game-high 17 points. Sophomore Thomas Gipson finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Sophomore Nino Williams had a career-best 13 rebounds to go with eight points. Junior Will Spradling, a former Shawnee Mission South star, also had eight points.
The Wildcats forced UMKC into 19 turnovers. The win gave the Wildcats 10 non-conference wins for the seventh straight season. But it wasn't easy. K-State only led 25-21 at halftime.
The 96 combined points tied for the lowest by K-State and its opponent in the Big 12 era. Thomas Staton's 13 points led Kansas City, while Fred Chatmon added nine points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
K-State has a quick turnaround. It finishes non-conference play on Monday against South Dakota in Manhattan. Kansas City also plays on Monday against Omaha on the road.