MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Rodney McGruder scored 26 of his game-high 28 points in the second half as No 25 Kansas State edged No. 22 Oklahoma State, 73-67, on Saturday in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams. McGruder hit two big 3-point shots in the final 2:44, the first breaking a 64-64 tie. Kansas State had led 59-54 before the Cowboys scored five straight points from the line to tie the score. Jordan Henriquez missed a jumper in the lane but Le'Bryan Nash of Oklahoma State came down with the rebound out of bounds. On the inbounds pass, McGruder spotted up beyond the arc for the shot that gave K-State the lead for good. After Marcus Smart hit one of two free throws for the Cowboys, McGruder hit another 3-pointer and the lead was five for Kansas State (12-2, 1-0). Smart led Oklahoma State (11-3, 0-1) with 25 points and Markel Brown added 19. As big as McGruder was for the Wildcats, reserve Nino Williams was nearly as big. He scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. All but two of his points came inside or from the foul line. McGruder scored 15 points in the first 7:50 of the second half to help the Wildcats slowly gain control. But the Wildcats could not pull away until the final minute because of Smart and Brown. They combined for 21 of the Cowboys' 35 second-half points. Nash, who came into the game as Oklahoma State's leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, was held to six points. Oklahoma State managed only 40 percent shooting from the field, including 9-of-23 in the second half. The first half showed two evenly-matched teams. The second and third best scoring defenses in the conference held each other to identical 11-of-26 marks (42.3 percent) from the field. The 32-30 halftime edge enjoyed by the Cowboys was due to two extra free throws. The Cowboys were led by two players in double-figures in the first half, Brown with 12 and Smart with 11. The Wildcats were led by Gipson, who tallied seven points. Eight of nine Wildcats who played scored in the first half. NOTES: Kansas State moved to 10-0 at home this season. The win also clinched K-State's 67th consecutive straight winning season at home, the top mark in NCAA Division I. The last time Kansas State had a losing record at home was in 1945-46, when the Wildcats went 3-5 in Nichols Gym. ... Oklahoma State fell to 12-6 all-time in Big 12 Conference openers, with the loss snapping a streak of seven straight victories. ... Kansas State owns a 73-48 all-time record against Oklahoma State. But the Cowboys are 13-6 in Big 12 play, including a 5-4 record in Manhattan.
- Sports & Recreation