Manhattan, KS- Enduring five missed free throws in the final 35 seconds Wednesday night, No. 25 Kansas State came up with a key steal down the stretch to beat Texas and snap its two-game losing streak.
Rodney McGruder scored the last of his game-high 33 points on a fastbreak dunk following the steal to punctuate the Wildcats’ 84-80 win over the Longhorns.
Jamar Samuels added 14 points forKansasState(13-4, 2-3 Big 12) while Will Spradling and Thomas Gipson scored 11 apiece.
J’Covan Brown had 22 points to lead Texas (12-6, 2-3) and Sheldon McClellan scored 19, but the Longhorns lost their second straight despite being gifted chances at the end of the game.
“Our guys fought, we battled,”Texashead coach Rick Barnes said.
McGruder, Spradling and Angel Rodriguez were a combined 1-for-6 from the foul line in the last 34.9 seconds, with McGruder and Rodriguez both missing a pair.
Texastrailed by as many as 15 points in the first half and was down seven on a Martavious Irving foul shot that made it 80-73KansasStatewith 74 seconds left.
But the Longhorns got a spark from Brown’s long three-pointer at the other end and cut their deficit all the way to one asKansasStatemissed free throws.
Texaseven escaped its own clumsiness after knocking the rebound out of bounds on Hernandez’s second miss. McGruder then missed a pair with 30.8 seconds left andTexaspulled within 81-80 on McClellan’s dunk with 20.3 ticks showing.
Spradling clanked his first free throw off the rim — Kansas State’s fourth miss in a row — but made the second, setting up the final breathless seconds.
Crossing half court,Texasguard Myck Kabongo tried to hand the ball off to Brown on the right side but it was lost in the exchange, stolen by Irvingto set up McGruder’s dunk for the 84-80 lead.
“I was taking out my frustration because I had just missed two free throws,” McGruder said of his funk.
– Sports Network –